Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam

Adam-Eve2Recently in Fuller Theological Seminary’s Spring 2013 issue of “Theology, News, and Notes,” New Testament professor Daniel Kirk posted an article that causes much discussion and debate these days – Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam? It’s a hot topic due to engagement with scientific findings and the desire for many Christians to maintain a historically orthodox faith.

This topic is of great interest to me these days, but more theologically than scientifically. I’d like to get more in to the science of things, and I’ve got some books that can be of help (Francis Collins’ The Language of God or Denis Lamoureux’s I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution). But I’m drawn more to think through things theologically, since I love the disciplines of biblical studies and theology.

Hence why my attention was drawn to Kirk’s article – a theological look at Adam as presented in both Paul, and the whole of Scripture, while discussing whether Adam must be a literal, factual human being (also noting that I appreciate the way Kirk writes and thinks, as evidenced in his book Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul?).

You see, here are how things unfold in the discussion (or debate) over the nature of the first chapters of Genesis and Adam himself.

Many Christians feel that if we allow for any non-literal reading of Genesis 1-3, including consideration that Adam was not a factually historical figure, then we will create all sorts of theological problems. For example, to deny a literal Adam will lead to such things as a denial of our sin problem (including death as a consequence of sin) and ultimately a rejection of our need for the work of Jesus Christ.

cafe in NYCKirk summarises this perspective in his article:

For some, to reject Adam as a historical person is to reject the authority of Scripture and trustworthiness of the very passages within which we learn of justification and resurrection. Others are concerned that to deny a historical Adam is to deny the narrative of a good world gone wrong that serves as the very basis for the good news of Jesus Christ. In short, if there is no Fall, there can be no salvation from it and restoration to what was and/or might have been.

However, as I recently shared in another article, the slippery slope argument is quite flawed. This argument says: If one believes A, then it will lead to belief in B (if not also C, D and E). Guilt-by-association doesn’t work well AT ALL. There are plenty of theologians and pastors (not to mention Christians in general) that do not hold to a literal reading of Genesis but who maintain a historically orthodox faith. Daniel Kirk is one of those (as am I).

So what I want to do is highlight some of Kirk’s points in his article. But, of course, I would encourage you to read the full article here. Below are 3 summary points from the article.

1) This is primarily about Paul, not Genesis

Of course we need to look at Genesis in discussing Adam. But, oddly enough, after Gen 5 we only have one mention of Adam in the rest of the Old Testament (1 Chron 1:1). There are a total of 8 references in the New Testament, with half of those coming in the all-important chapters of Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15, which were penned by Paul.

Kirk notes this early on in his article:

Such theological claims derive more from our reading of Paul’s reflections on Adam than from the Genesis story itself. For many, the most significant theological reasons for affirming a historical Adam have to do not with what Genesis 1–3 may or may not teach about human origins, but with the theology of Adam that Paul articulates in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. In short, if there is no historical Adam with whom we are enmeshed in the guilt and power of sin, how can we affirm that in Christ we participate in the justification and freedom of grace? (emphasis mine)

Hence why Kirk’s discussion is strongly centred in Paul’s theological thoughts. It’s not to disregard Genesis, as just about everyone maintains the need to work through the early narrative of Genesis. But many will agree that the theological focus of Adam needs to be worked out above and beyond a simple reading of the early chapters of Genesis.

2) The bigger story of Genesis

By noting the bigger story of Genesis, I don’t simply mean it’s ‘bigger’ because it’s a detailed account of the creation of the universe. For many, it seems this is the point. But there is something bigger theologically going on here, all connected to the people Israel. As Daniel Kirk clarifies:

When the ancients told stories of human origins, it was never simply to tell people “what happened.” Instead, such narratives indicate why their particular people and their particular god played the roles of sovereigns of the world. Genesis 1 is an introduction to the covenant story of Israel, in which God promises to make fruitful Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and also multiply them (17:6; 28:3; 35:11; 47:27; 48:4). The story of Adam in Genesis is written with the latter story of Israel in mind, so that the reader can see that Israel is destined to fulfill God’s primordial promise of not only filling the Earth but also ruling over it (cf. 17:6). (emphasis mine)

There are many scholars who note the Israel-context of Genesis, even prior to Abraham and Gen 12. Genesis is ultimately about the formation of Israel, Yahweh’s covenant people. And, so, the text is underlining and reminding Israel that they are God’s people not only because of Abraham, but also stating such in a unique way pre-Abraham. Remember, however you think Genesis was formed and whoever you think penned the words, such was written while Israel was already a covenant people formed. Gen 1:1 has Israel in mind and was meant for Israel.

This is why I think it highly probable that the early chapters of Genesis were not given as a straightforward historical account of the beginnings of all things. Not to mention that many scholars also note how Gen 1 is similar to ancient temple coronations. Israel had a temple, the true temple of the one God, Yahweh. The pattern of Gen 1 points to ancient temples and this was Yahweh’s ancient temple, which was overseen by the priests of Israel. I share more here.

So while we focus a lot of our efforts in Paul, and we will come on to that just below, we must recognise that from ‘the beginning’, the Scriptures of old were telling the story of Yahweh’s people Israel. Not to mention that there is much written across church history that shows a literal rendering of Genesis is not the only perspective (see Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives by Peter Bouteneff)

3) The argument starts with Christ, not Adam

The most important point in Kirk’s whole article is that our theological starting point is not Adam, nor anything else, but rather it is the crucified and risen Christ! This is absolutely key! He notes some developments over the past 50 years on this front:

New Testament scholarship over the past half century has developed the insight that the first data point in Paul’s Christian theologizing was his understanding that the cross and resurrection formed the saving act of God. In the 1960s, Herman Ridderbos argued that this fundamental conviction becomes the great act of God by which all other acts and ideas are understood. The significance of this focus on Christ is that it ripples out in all directions: not only does Paul rethink the future in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but he also reinterprets what came before. Thus, Ridderbos concludes that “Paul’s whole doctrine of the world and man in sin . . . is only to be perceived in the light of his insight into the all-important redemptive event in Christ.” (emphasis mine; Kirk is drawing from and quoting Ridderbos’s work, Paul: An Outline of His Theology)

Kirk summarises this way:

The other things [Paul] says, especially about sin, the Law, and eschatology, are reinterpretations that grow from the fundamental reality of the Christ event. Recognizing this relieves the pressure that sometimes builds up around a historical Adam……we can now recognize that Adam is not the foundation on which the system of Christian faith and life is built, such that removing him means that the whole edifice comes crashing down. Instead, the Adam of the past is one spire in a large edifice whose foundation is Christ. The gospel need not be compromised if we find ourselves having to part ways with Paul’s assumption that there is a historical Adam, because we share Paul’s fundamental conviction that the crucified Messiah is the resurrected Lord over all. (emphasis mine)

inspiration-and-incarnation-peter-ennsI don’t have time to address all of the re-interpretive efforts of the New Testament writers as they freshly approached the old Hebrew Scriptures. But if one wants to read a bit more on this idea, then they could read ch.4 from Peter Enns’s book Inspiration and Incarnation. Enns specifically notes how the apostles and their colleagues carried a christotelic hermeneutic, which simply means this:

To read the Old Testament “christotelically” is to read it already knowing that Christ is somehow the end to which the Old Testament story is heading. (Inspiration and Incarnation, p154, emphasis his)

You can read more of my thoughts on Enns’s work and his christotelic hermeneutic here (I focus on it half-way down the article).

The New Testament writers were happy to re-interpret the Old Testament. And this is exactly what Paul does with his Adam theology.

I know the big question is this – If Paul believed in a literal, factual, historical Adam, then for us to say he was ‘wrong’ means that we cannot trust anything he said. What if he were wrong elsewhere? How do we know?

But this argument is just as fallacious as the slippery slope argument. This isn’t so much about Paul being ‘wrong’ (from our modern view). Rather it’s about allowing the ancients to actually be ancients. They were first century Jews. They quite likely believed in a flat earth, geocentric astronomy (that the earth was the orbital centre), etc. It’s no problem to state this knowing that Scripture does not look to give us a perfected scientific understanding of the universe.

It’s quite like someone from 20 or 30 years ago giving a teaching about the greatness and magnificence of God while referring to 9 planets in our solar system. Today, we hold that there are only 8 planets (Pluto has now been disregarded as an actual planet). But to reference science from 30 years ago does not negate the validity of the empowered teaching of a servant of God. For the ancients to speak about the cosmos from their ancient understanding should be expected. Remember, God’s revelation of himself and his plan always comes within a particular historical context, not some abstract ethereal perspective.

Now, to counter, I would say there is no hard evidence that Paul adamantly believed in a literal, historical Adam. Again, it’s not even a major focus across the sweep of Scripture. He could have believed in such; he might not have. Ultimately, as Kirk notes in his own article, this does not sway us from Paul’s great focus in Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15:

…faithful articulation of our story will have to attempt to hold together for our day what Paul’s articulation held together so beautifully for his own: humanity as a whole, not one particular race or ethnicity or nationality of people, is the purview of God’s saving work in Christ; humanity’s final destiny has been determined by the advent of the new creation in Christ’s resurrection; and this solution in Christ indicates that the problem to be solved entails not only personal estrangement from God, but a whole world that fails to live up to the harmony, peace, fruitfulness, life, and eternality of the God who created it. (emphasis mine)

Do you see it? The gospel is not compromised. Historic, orthodox tenets of Christianity are not thrown out of the window. They remain in tact as we think through things theologically (and even scientifically) in our world today.

I must admit that it seems odd that, when science benefits us, we accept its findings (I’m thinking of medical science at this moment). But, if it challenges the theological babies we hold so closely, we can get quite protective. And it’s understandable. I used to be quite offended at the notion that someone would call themselves a faithful Christian believer and interpreter of Scripture, but did not hold to a literal 6-day creation. However, time, study and a some spiritual growth has allowed me to see that this does not have to be the case.

Now, I’m not suggesting science has the last word. This is what Kirk advocates as well:

Perhaps most importantly, we must not allow biology or physics or chemistry to have the last word about the destiny of humanity. The reality of our lives as creatures limited by death and decay must stand in subordinate relationship to the eschatological reality of new creation that God has granted us in Christ.

Remember, in all, Christ has the final word. His work of redemption and new creation have the final word. Again, I submit that I am not scientifically knowledgeable to know the in’s and out’s of evolutionary biology. I’m very much open to considering that God used what science identifies as evolution to bring about his good creation (always noting that God is the great orchestrator of creation). But whether we have a 6-day creation and a young earth, thousands of years of creation and and an old earth, or evolutionary creation over billions of years, none of these matter in regards to the redemptive and restorative work of God in Jesus Christ. I find it very simple to see things through the Christ lens, however the science of it all plays out.

Therefore, to proclaim this truth, that all truth falls under the work and lordship of Christ, is to stand in line with Paul. For Paul, his Adam theology changed in light of the work of Christ. His thoughts in Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15 were radical in his own day. And this radical re-focus has continued and should continue until all things are made new in Jesus Christ.

Update: Let me point readers to an interesting article (a ‘real’ article at 29-pages long) by John Schneider called The Fall of ‘Augustinian Adam’: Original Fragility and Supralapsarianism Purpose. The article compares the Adam of Ireneaus’s and Augustine’s writings, all the while trying to answer the question of whether Adam is compatible with evolution in any sense. Schneider also believes there is compatibility.

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19 thoughts on “Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam

  1. One wonders these days whether many so-called young pastors were awake in seminary? As to the biblical/theological Covenant/covenants and Salvation History! (1 Cor. 15: 22 ; 45-49, etc. St. Paul’s 1 Cor. 15 (noting too 15: 12-19).

    So who are the one’s more on that “slippery slope” today? Sadly more and more in the so-called Christian Academy it does appear, and their “emergent” children! I was in that Academy once, thank God I moved back into the pastoral place, but even here Satan is “alive and well”! I can remember even when Charles Spurgeon wrote in his time of the Baptist “downgrade”, we have seen so much more “downgrade” in our time of the 20th and 21st century! I am well old enough, and biblically & theologically literate enough (just enough 😉 ), to see and state, as old Harold Lindsell wrote in his book: ‘The Battle for the Bible’ (back in the 70’s btw), that this is always going to be a spiritual battle…for the life and soul of the Visible and Historical Church; and the souls of men and women… humanity! But thankfully the sovereign holy God is His own “theodicy”!

    • Robert –

      I must admit, at times when I read your comments, they sound easily as coming from one stuck in a time warp. As I’ve written here before – the persecuted become the persecutors. There was once a day when Lutherans were cutting edge. Now many are trapped in a time of decades, if not centuries ago, proclaiming everyone else is wrong. The same of some Methodists or Presbyterians or Baptists or Pentecostals or charismatics.

      I suppose that, when you were 30 or so years of age, those from your parent’s and grandparent’s generation proclaimed that you and your ilk were going all down hill and watered-down. Remember when drums in a church gathering were of the devil? Remember when charismatic gifts were of the devil? Remember when the church proclaimed people heretics for believing in a heliocentric view of the cosmos?

      None of this proves that such a perspective as presented by Kirk is right. But what I’m saying is that the emotional & slippery slope argument that everyone is going down hill and off the charts doesn’t really engage anything. It’s time that we thoughtfully approach varying points as presented by those we disagree with. There is a salvation history, and it was always moving towards Christ and is summed up in Christ. He has destroyed sin & death!

      • @Scott: You forget mate I was 30 once, oh yes! 😉 “Ilk”? My generation was that of the children of the WW 2 British Veterans (my father, some great uncles, uncles and even aunts served in that War), aye we are the baby-boomers! And btw I lived thru the whole Charismatic movement, both Roman Catholic and Anglican! But one thing, at least in my Irish generation and family, I was taught to respect my elders! And I did, and then when I went in to Her Majesty’s military service and the Royal Marines, I had already a certain respect for authority. And then only later did I go to college, seminary, and my graduate degrees, etc.

        Forgive me if I laugh, but my comments are hardly easy, but come thru my own experience of both literal war and personal combat, with thankfully again my Irish middle-class upbringing, and too my education! So no “time warp” for me at all, just history, lived, and lived in my own “reality & experience”! Forgive me, but maybe someday you might face just a bit of that reality of life, and no silver spoons will help there! Walk softly mate! And don’t even try to judge my generation, or the reality that we faced, especially those of us who suited-up, trained hard, and fought in War! I actually fought in your “Nam” (1968), attached as an RMC to your American Marine Force Recon! I was also wounded in the Nam. My first, but not my last combat (went also to Gulf War 1). Yes, I am proud of my service as a RMC (over ten years active, the rest reserve), and retired as a Captain. I mention this, for surely there was/is no finer fighting people than Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Commando’s! But hey, you bet I am biased! 😉 And oh yes this was great providence for me, and pressed me (after Gulf War 1), to live and teach in Israel! And that is where I became a “Biblical” Zionist, and changed to the Historic Pre-Mill. Again just part of my history now, and my GOD In Christ has been sovereign every step of the way! As HE still is!

        Finally, the great problem for me is of course your Postmodernism, this most certainly affects every aspect of your thinking! And most certainly too our Worldview is always most important and central. Like Barth said to Brunner, in his day with the aspect of God and nature, I say “Nein” to Postmodernity!

  2. Interesting thoughts.

    Call it whatever you will, but I’m not ready to give up on a literal Adam and even a literal six-day creation. I guess you could say I have more faith in the scripture writers than I do in the accuracy of science, which is based on observation. The amount of things we can accurately observe changes all the time. As many OT stories are borne out by new archaeological findings, I still believe (stubbornly perhaps) that we may eventually find that our dating systems are fundamentally flawed because there is something about them we do not see now (maybe it’s purposefully hidden from us).

    However, if I discover (somehow) that Genesis is actually a man-made story told just to illustrate the very true nature of God and his relationship with creation, I will still be fine with that. My faith is in the person of Jesus first, as revealed by the Spirit, then scripture and then man. I don’t NEED it to be literal to maintain faith. But at this time it just seems more logical to ME that it IS true than that it isn’t. Maybe not every detail is exact, but I still hold to the basic narrative of Genesis and that there was a “first man” (Adam) and “first woman” (Eve).

    Paul’s beliefs on the matter neither proves nor disproves it’s reality. Of course he believed it as literal as a Jew who studied the scriptures extensively. When he saw a beautiful symmetry between Adam and Christ, and wanted to show that to people. The point was that rebirth and regeneration came from Christ. That truth (and the beauty of God’s plan) does not change depending on whether we can dig up Adam’s bones or not. It SUPERSEDES the need to know. The Spirit testifies to the truth of it — and that’s good enough.

    • Ken –

      You stated: I guess you could say I have more faith in the scripture writers than I do in the accuracy of science, which is based on observation.

      But that’s just it – the argument is that the ancients were not so interested in an exact scientific explanation of the beginnings of the cosmos. So we can stand in solidarity with the biblical authors. But we have to try and grasp, as best we can, what the ancients are communicating in the text. The early chapters of Genesis have never solely been seen as a straightforward history of how it all started, some 6,000-10,000 years ago. It’s a story coming out of and from Israel. It’s a story of Yahweh’s temple being built, overseen by his covenant people. It’s not a scientific account.

      • Very true, but it COULD be accurate. And at least until i get some concrete proof otherwise (which honestly I doubt will happen), I would rather trust the possibly accurate scripture than anything that science comes up with. But either way, this doesn’t shape my faith. It’s simply an intellectual exercise of logic vs faith.

      • OK, I wasn’t going to do this, but it’s bugging me, so here I go.

        One of the big reasons why I still believe in the accounts of Genesis is the time they took to include all the numerous genealogies from Adam. If I was just making up a story about Adam and Eve and their supposed “children” for allegorical purposes, why would I really relate line after line of made-up names and what they were “good at”, what kids they had and how long they lived I mean, these things don’t make for a good story. They are BORING. Why would anyone include boring made-up content? No storyteller anywhere would do such a thing. It takes AWAY from the narrative to do it. It’s illogical.

        Unless someone really thought they were keeping a historical record. And if they thought so, they got that notion from someone before them who got it from someone before them. It may have started as an oral recitation but somewhere, somebody said we need to remember these people and what they did. Maybe God Himself told Adam the creation account, and it’s as accurate as Adam could describe it in his own words to his son. That oral traditional was added to, passed down, through Noah, to Abraham, his line and finally made it’s way to Moses, when God said, “Hey, maybe you should write this down before it gets to messed up or forgotten completely.”

        I don’t think it’s perfectly accurate, but I think it’s close ENOUGH to the truth that I still would rather believe it than the imaginings of man who looks at his tiny field of view and thinks he has it all figured out.

      • Scripture could be accurate. I’m sure it is in regards to its intention. But as regards to a particular approach within evangelicalism, that’s not always the case. 🙂 I suppose you are aware that there are some scientific observations which posit that biological evolution is very much worth considering. I’d love to read up on more. I mention books above.

        On the numerous genealogies, you could read this book by Kenton Sparks: God’s Word in Human Words.

  3. Thanks for this post Scott. I have often thought that the main counter to abandoning a literal historical Adam (which I have no particular yen either to do or not to do) was NT teaching rather than Genesis, so I might delve further out of idle curiosity! I have a suspicion that understanding what NT writers thought about the issue is more important to understanding what they were writing than whether or not they were right in that understanding.

    I hope that doesn’t sound hopelessly postmodern, a view which, unlike you, I do not feel so positively about, not least because I think postmodernists often confuse (or equate) epistemological with metaphysical questions. Though from reading your posts I suspect you agree on not confusing these questions and have a take on postmodernism that is closer to my worldview than that I tend to see as classically postmodern.

    Going back to the issue in question, your thoughts on the slippery slope argument are particularly interesting to me – I have always had an instinctive dislike of the argument but never really got to grips with why it doesn’t hold (or, to be more open-minded, whether it should).

    • Matt –

      Thanks for your comment. With the slippery slope, we have all have fallacious arguments (non sequiturs, emotional charges, begging the question, circular reasoning, etc). Sometimes it’s so clear to us that we don’t understand why the others don’t see it. We are all learning.

      • @Scott: “Scripture could be accurate”? Talk about an argument in which the conclusion does not follow from the biblical premises. Btw, non sequitur is literally from the Latin, ‘it does not follow’. And most certainly the genesis and formulation of the Postmodern…does not follow, biblically in revelation! Again I will maintain as many others, and certain scholars, that Postmodernism is loaded front and centre with modernity! And again, I challenge the readers here to the Stanford piece on Postmodernity! Let’s get to the ‘devil in the details”! 😉

        @Ken: Before you listen to Scott and Company, and throw-over a literal and historical Adam & Eve, you might want to check and read James Ussher’s works on Biblical chronology, long the standard inserted in the margin of many editions of the Authorized Version (KJV), according to which the creation is dated (according to literal biblical chronology), in 4004 B.C. See too his large book: The Annals of Time, well worth the read in my opinion! (Not that I follow his literal chronology, per se, but it simply must be noted!)… Indeed Biblical “genre” must be seen also! And here we must note too the Ancient Hebrew Cosmology, as in Paul (see Phil. 2: 10). And btw too, the Bible is not written in the description of the so-called modern scientific view, not one whiff of evolution here! And see too Augustine’s profound doctrine of God’s Creation, a creation out of nothingness (Heb. 11: 3), but also instantly, and yet a created order that is somewhat involved in temporal process, but here he connects cosmology with ethics and spirituality, and even a Platonic realm of ideal forms, but with an all important difference: Augustine, like the Neoplatonists to whom he was in so many way indebted, believed that the forms or ideas of things, in the strict sense belonged in the mind of God, and were NOT independent models for the divine artisan to work from. Thus there is no “realm” of forms, in anything like the original Platonic sense! But yes, the great genre of the theological “narrative” in revelation, i.e. Genesis 1-3! (See Etienne Gilson’s work: Introduction to Saint Augustine, if you can lay your hands on it?)

      • And surely the great question here must be: What is Creation biblically? and especially in the NT revelation! It is here too that we must look at the “New Creation” ! (Rev. 5: 13-14)…noting again the Ancient Hebrew Cosmology! (See too, Gal. 6: 15-16…But the New Creation is always connected to verse 14, and as Paul can say of himself: “for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (verse 17), here the so-called marks or “stigma”, (Gk.) are like the “brand-marks” of Jesus as the Apostle refers to the very physical-sufferings he himself endured for his proclamation Of “Christ Jesus”, Lord Christ & Messiah! (Wow, what kind of “brand-marks” do we now today share with Jesus? Surely the price will always be connected to the biblical-theological statement of the true Gospel!)

        2 Cor. 4: 6, “Paul uses the provision of “light” in Gen. 1: 3 to picture conversion as the dawning of the new creation amid this fallen world, “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” To know the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4: 4) is to encounter the life-transforming glory of God.” (ESV Study Bible note, 2 Cor. 4: 6)

      • Robert, I have no intention of throwing out a literal and historical Adam. In fact, I defended my position that there is one. I don’t see how you can have a document that obviously has historical reasons for existing (genealogies), but is simply just an allegorical story. Makes no sense to me. I DO agree that the creation story is not a “scientific” story, any more than the descriptions of things in Revelations are scientific (giant wasps, etc.) It is described as best Adam and those of his time COULD describe it. God talks down to man’s knowledge because our knowledge is limited by our observation. (Job’s “storehouses of snow” or “chariot for the sun”, for instance). Anyway, it’s going to take something huge to change my mind about Adam.

        Unfortunately, as with most of your posts, I didn’t really understand the rest of it, except that you were telling me to read more books (something you mention often). It seems so much of what you have decided to believe comes from the works of others, and your defense of those amounts to “this person said it, so it MUST be true. Just go read it and you’ll see.” Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or inclination to do a great deal of reading, either your suggestions OR Scott’s, so your requests for me to “get educated” is somewhat falling on deaf ears.

        I also had to chuckle at the phrase “Authorized Version” when referring to the KJV. Authorized by WHO, exactly? And what makes it more “authorized” than any other version? My sister is a KJV-only and I fail to understand the stubbornness inherent in such a view. It just goes against everything that Jesus taught concerning the truth, in my opinion.

      • @Ken: I am too one that believes in the historical Adam and Eve, as the Fall is both real and historical, in time, and yet also most spiritual truth! (1 Cor. 15: 22 ; 45-47, etc.) I also believe in the so-called Federal Headship of Adam, who’s sin brought down the whole race of man or humanity! (Romans 5)

        The so-called “Authorized Version” comes from King James himself (King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender Of The Faith, etc.), note in most Cambridge Bibles, it says: “Appointed To Be Read in Churches” (i.e. the CoE). Sadly, they have now removed the so-called: The Epistle Dedicatory (written by King James, himself0, in the front of many Bibles of the KJV. But see the KJV Bibles from the Trinitarian Bible Society, they keep it. The point being, this is the historical of the original KJV itself, so-called Authorized Version, by the King of England, then!

        And yes, I am a pastor-teacher myself, of course of the Evangelical Anglican (Reformed) persuasion, and also an old “theologian” type myself, both a professor and teacher myself at one time. So yes, I always want my students to learn to think and read! And books are part of this too! (See btw, 2 Tim. 4:13)…Paul was a reader, oh yeah! 😉

      • Btw Ken, I hope at 63 I don’t have “deaf ears”? Just a point mate, I’m always seeking, reading and thinking, in my opinion the whole Christian life demands such, especially for those of us who pastor and teach! And btw, it does sure appear that you also have your opinions! 😉

  4. Pingback: Difficult Scriptures: Romans 5:12-17 | internetmonk.com

  5. You wrote: “But, oddly enough, after Gen 5 we only have one mention of Adam in the rest of the Old Testament (1 Chron 1:1).”

    Is that for certain? Since אדם (adam) can be translated as “man” or “human” and since “Adam” is called איש (ish) in Genesis 2:23ff. – and Paul similarly refers to him as άνθρωπος (anthrōpos “man”) in Romans 5 – doesn’t one have to look at each occurrence in the Old Testament of אדם and איש after Genesis 5 to see if it could possibly be referring to (and be translated as) “Adam” before concluding that 1 Chronicles 1:1 is the only mention of “Adam” after Genesis 5? I recall reading a verse in the prophets (or Job?), I think, where some English translations say “Adam” whereas others say “man.”

  6. Hi Eric –

    Good to hear from you. I had this discussion elsewhere, so I should clarify that I mean ‘Adam proper’. Plenty of theological positions point out that we aren’t always so certain when ‘adam should be Adam (proper person) within Gen 1 and 2. So I agree that ‘adam is everywhere, but I’m not sure there is a strong case for Mr. Proper Adam being mentioned except once in the OT following Gen 5.

    But I believe the reality & condition of ‘adam is right through the pages.

    • I knew you meant “Adam proper” – i.e. the “man” referred to in Genesis 2-5. But I think from the verse (which I can’t now remember) in the prophets or elsewhere that it’s possible that this person/man “Adam” may actually be who is being referred to in that and possibly other places in the OT, and hence in those places should be translated to mean “Adam proper.”

      I know for me that I’ve found it puzzling that a major point of Paul’s hamartology and soteriology – i.e., Adam’s (and Eve’s) sin, as well as their existence – receives almost no mention in the OT after Genesis 3. Rarely if ever does the OT blame past or present circumstances or behaviors on what happened in the Garden.

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