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OT Survey 113 Seminar 4 Adam unabridged

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Andrew Hodge                                                                                                      14th April 2006

Old Testament Survey OTE 113

Seminar 4


Jensen, Irving L. Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament 1978, Moody Press, Chicago (currently unavailable); Genesis 1-3



Discuss Adam as the priority of Creation:

(˒ādām). Man, mankind; also human (adj.), someone (indef.); Adam (the first man). The ASV and RSV translate the same with notable exceptions. In Job 31:33 the RSV obscures the reference to Adam. Although the etymology of ˒ādām cannot be explained with certainty (cf. TDOT. I, p. 78). the word probably relates to the original ruddiness of man’s complexion (cf. F. Maas, ˒ādām TDOT, I, pp. 78–79). This word for man has to do with man as being in God’s image, the crown of creation. It should be distinguished from ˒ı̂š (man as opposite of woman, or as man distinguished in his manliness), ˒ĕnôš (man as weak and vulnerable), geber (man as mighty and noble), and mĕtı̂m. [1]

˒ādām also refers to generic man as the image of God and the crown of creation or is a personal name. Hence in Gen 1–3 it is the word usually used for man. (In later passages of Scripture it is difficult to distinguish in meaning from ˒ı̂š.) Here, man is distinct from the rest of creation in that: he was created by special and solemn divine counsel (Gen 1:26); his creation was an immediate act of God; he was created after the divine type; he was created with two distinct elements (Gen 2:7); he was placed in an exalted position (Gen 1:28); he was intended for a still higher (in the sense of a permanent and fulfilled) position. Hence, man (as ˒ādām) was the crown of creation. Genesis 1 sets forth ˒ādām as the goal and vice-regent of creation, while Gen 2 shows how the creation was formed as the scene of man’s activity, i.e. it was formed around ˒ādām. In the first three chapters of Gen there is a wordplay on man, mankind, and the first man “Adam.” ˒ādām connotes man in the image of God as to: soul or spirit (indicating man’s essential simplicity, spirituality, invisibility, immortality), physical powers or faculties (the intellect and will with their functions), intellectual and moral integrity (true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness), body (as a fit organ of the soul sharing its immortality, and as the means through which man exercises his dominion), and dominion over the lower creation.[2]

Significantly God’s first words to man are both a command and a prohibition (Gen 2:16–17); man alone is responsible for his decision, man alone determines his destiny by volitional choice, and only man is judged as righteous or sinful by God’s law. An older biblical theology holds that the “divine likeness is rather to be referred to the whole dignity of man in virtue of which human nature is sharply distinguished from that of the beasts; man as a free being is set over nature, and designed to hold communion with God, and to be his representative on earth” (G. F. Oehler, Old Testament Theology). Payne remarks that “the terms ‘image’ and ‘likeness’ … are used interchangeably. …The image thus connotes ‘freedom’ and ‘blessedness’, as it reflects within man the cosmic, ethical and beneficent sovereignty of the Testator himself. …The divine image thus implies all the various aspects of God’s reflected glory and honor. …It may be defined, in summary, as the totality of man’s higher powers that distinguish him from brute creation” (PTOT, p. ’227). [3]


Chronicles commences its account of the history of the kingdom at the very beginning with Adam, because its interest is universal and its intention is to demonstrate that the theocratic people Israel are a part of and find their source in the common history of all mankind. This is a theological prerequisite to Israel’s ability to perform her dual ministry of mediator and model of God’s salvific grace to the world. The theocratic kingdom cannot therefore be divorced from the course of universal human events.[4]

The Westminster Confession avers that the obeisance required in this covenant must be both perfect and personal. The idea of partial or imperfect obedience is excluded. Man is created in God’s image and is given the ability and duty to mirror and reflect God’s holy character. There is no room for the slightest transgression.

In Eden the penalty for violating the covenant’s terms was death. This penalty was not limited to spiritual death, nor would the penalty’s execution be delayed. Death is to be imposed on the very day the transgression occurred. That Adam and Eve did not die physically on the day of their first sin already displays God’s mercy and grace.[5]

We speak of natural depravity, but, in reality, sin is un natural. God made Adam perfect and without sin. Since Adam’s fall, however, men are “born in sin” (Ps. 51:5).[6]



Distinguish Adam from the animal world:


Even after the fall ˒ādām is used of man! The image of God is still the central distinction. Hence, murder is an attack on the image of God (Gen 9:6). However, the fall lowered man’s position before God (Gen 6:5–6; 8:21), ruptured his communion with God, and brought the curse of death on him so that he did not fulfill his intended exaltation. That part of the divine image consisting of true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness was destroyed. Only in and by Christ, the new Adam (Rom 5:12–21), can the original divine promise be realized.[7]



1.     Man Made in the Image and Likeness of God

Gen. 1:26—“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” 9:6—“For in the image of God made he man.” What is meant by the terms image and likeness? Image means the shadow or outline of a figure, while likeness denotes the resemblance of that shadow to the figure. The two words, however, are practically synonymous. That man was made in the image and likeness of God is fundamental in all God’s dealings with man (1 Cor. 11:7; Eph. 4:21–24; Col. 3:10; James 3:9). We may express the language as follows: Let us make man in our image to be our likeness.


God is Spirit; He does not have parts and passions as a man. (See under Doctrine of God; The Spirituality of God). Consequently Mormon and Swedenborgian views of God as a great human are wrong. Deut. 4:15 contradicts such a physical view of God (see The Spirituality of God). Some would infer from Psa. 17:15—“I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness,” that in some remote way, a physical likeness is suggested. The R. V., however, changes somewhat the sense of this verse, and reads: “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with beholding thy form.” See also Num. 12:8, R. V. It is fair to believe, however, that erectness of posture, intelligence of countenance, and a quick, glancing eye characterized the first man. We should also remember that the manifestations in the Old Testament and the incarnation must throw some light upon this subject (see How Are Such Passages as Exod. 24:10 …).


Indeed the supremacy conferred upon man presupposed those spiritual endowments, and was justified by his fitness, through them, to exercise it.


Eph. 4:23, 24—“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness [R. V., holiness of truth].” Col. 3:10—“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” It is clear from these passages that the image of God consists in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; moral, not physical likeness.


He had sufficient intelligence to give names to the animals as they were presented before him (Gen. 2:19, 20). Adam had not only the power of speech, but the power of reasoning and thought in connection with speech. He could attach words to ideas. This is not the picture, as evolution would have us believe, of an infantile savage slowly groping his way towards articulate speech by imitation of the sounds of animals.


Consider the moral test in Genesis 3. Adam had power to resist or to yield to moral evil. Sin was a volitional thing. Christ, the second Adam, endured a similar test (Matt. 4).

From all this it is evident that man’s original state was not one of savagery. Indeed there is abundant evidence to show that man has been degraded from a very much higher stage. Both the Bible and science agree in making man the crowning work of God, and that there will be no higher order of beings here on the earth than man. We must not forget that while man, from one side of his nature, is linked to the animal creation, he is yet supra-natural—a being of a higher order and more splendid nature; he is in the image and likeness of God. Man has developed not from the ape, but away from it. He never was anything but potential man. “No single instance has yet been adduced of the transformation of one animal species into another, either by natural or artificial selection; much less has it been demonstrated that the body of the brute has ever been developed into that of the man. The links that should bind man to the monkey have not been found. Not a single one can be shown. None have been found that stood nearer the monkey than the man of today.”—Agassiz.[8]



Explain how Adam’s image bearing qualities manifested themselves:

Two principal passages in the Old Testament provide glimpses of what human domination under God entails. The first is Genesis2:15 (cf. v. 5), 19–20, and the second is Psalm 8.[9]

As noted earlier, Genesis 2 gives the account of the creation of man in which he appears as the climax of the creative process, almost its raison d’être. In this account, described in highly anthropomorphic terms, the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, making him a living being (v. 7). He then placed man in the garden “to work it and take care of it” (v. 15).This must be seen in light of verse 5, which points out that before the creation of man no shrub or plant had sprung up because there was as yet no rain and, more significantly, no man to “work the ground.” Clearly, then, a major purpose for the creation of man was that he should “work the ground.”21 Work by itself was not a curse; indeed it was the very essence of what it meant to be the image of God. To work the ground is one definition of what it means to have dominion.[10]

A second definition may be found in Genesis 2:19–20, which states that man was given the responsibility of naming the animals. As is now well known, in the ancient Near East to name could be tantamount to exercising dominion.22 When Yahweh brought the animals to Adam “to see what he would name them,” He was in effect transferring from Himself to Adam the dominion for which man was created. This of course is perfectly in line with the objects of human dominion listed in the pivotal text of Genesis 1:26: fish, birds, livestock, and “all the creatures that move along the ground.”[11]

The second major Old Testament passage that clarifies the meaning of man’s function as sovereign is Psalm 8. The entire hymn deserves detailed discussion but only two points can be made here. First, a clear reference to the imago dei is conveyed by verse 5: “You made Him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned Him with glory and honor.”As the NIV suggests in the footnote, “heavenly beings” may be translated “God” (Heb. ’ĕlōhı̂m). This in fact is the better translation in view of the well-established fact that this psalm is a commentary of Genesis 1:26–28. As God’s image and viceroy, man himself is a king crowned with glory and honor.

What that kingship means is clear from Psalm 8:6–7, where man has been appointed ruler (causative of mās̆al) over all creation, with everything “under his feet.” This image is reminiscent of the fundamental meaning of “have dominion” (rādāh) and “subdue” (kābas̆) in Genesis 1:28, namely, to tread upon. The objects of the dominion are exactly the same (though in different order) as those of the Genesis mandate: flocks and herds, beasts of the field, birds of the air, and fish of the sea (Ps. 8:7).[12]


Explain Adam’s relationship with God, Eve and the earth before and after the fall:

In Christ we have His righteousness, not His Deity.

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden in hopes of gaining the knowledge of good and evil. They learned the knowledge of good by losing it; and they learned death and evil by experiencing it. Moses argues that the choice to obey God brings real advantages our way and the choice to disobey brings with it the certainty of ruin. We have the power to choose life and good instead of death and evil.[13]

No idea of superiority/inferiority with respect to the sexes can be found here. That woman was taken from man no more implies the inferiority of woman to man than the taking of man from the ground (’ādām from ’ădāmāh) implies the inferiority of man to the ground. Nor does the term “helper” connote subordination. This is clear from the context in which the need is for man, like the animals, to have a mate, a partner who would complement or correspond to him. Man as male is only half of what God wants him to be as the image of God. It is, moreover, important to note that the Hebrew term for “helper,” ’ezer, is frequently used of the Lord Himself as man’s Helper (Deut. 33:7; Ps. 33:20; 115:9–11; 146:5; Hos. 13:9). A helper then is not necessarily dominant or subordinate but one who meets a need in the life and experience of someone else.27 [14]

Sin, however, radically altered the man-woman relationship just as it did that between God and His creation. The woman, having been tempted by Satan, yielded and encouraged her husband to join her in her violation of covenant prohibition. As a result, Satan, the woman, and the man fell under divine condemnation and became subject to a covenant that now incorporated stipulations appropriate to a universe no longer in willing compliance to its Sovereign. The old demand to“be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” was still in effect, but it could hereafter be carried out only partially by unredeemed humanity and imperfectly even by those God would restore to Himself in saving grace. Sin and history must run their course before the perfect conditions of covenant fulfillment can come to pass.[15]

Meanwhile, it is important to explore the man-woman relationship and God- man relationship in their functional aspects as a result of the alienation caused by sin. The covenant statement relative to these matters is preceded by the glorious redemptive promise that though the offspring of Satan would strike the heel of the Descendant of the woman that Descendant would in turn crush the head of the evil line (Gen. 3:15). The messianic character of this promise is almost universally recognized, though, of course, the specificity of the woman’s offspring cannot be established in this text alone.

More immediately relevant to the question of male-female relationship within the context of covenant fulfillment in a fallen world is Genesis 3:16. There the woman is assigned the curse of painful child-bearing, and there it is said that “your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” The setting of this statement is human society in a fallen world. Whatever the curse might involve, it is not relevant to the original status of man and woman nor indigenous to their creation as coregents of the dominions of the Lord. Nor will it endure beyond the confines of history, for the eschaton ultimately is a restoration of all things as they were and as they were intended.

The problematic phrase is that in which the man is said to move beyond the role of coregent with his wife to that of lord over her. That this is not merely predictive of what the future would hold but prescriptive of the man-woman functional relationship from that time forward is clear from apostolic teaching on the matter. To cite one or two texts only, Paul forbade women to speak in the churches because they “must be in submission, as the Law says” (1 Cor. 14:34). To the same church he pointed out that “the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3; cf. Eph. 5:23–24; Titus 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1; etc.). One would not, of course, gather from this that God (the Father) is superior in essence to Christ but only in function. Likewise all that is being avowed by the apostle is that man is superior to woman in a functional sense, in man’s role in the hierarchical structure of kingdom domination.28

More difficult still is the phrase “your desire will be for your husband” (Gen. 3:16). The Hebrew construction of the verse reflects poetic parallelism in which the first line of the couplet carries the same meaning as the second. The second (“and he will rule over you”) requires that the “desire” of the woman for her husband also convey the idea of domination. The word translated “desire” (tĕs̆ugāh ) occurs also in Genesis 4:7, which says that sin “desired to have you [Cain], but you must master it.” Interestingly the same Hebrew verb translated “master” (mās̆al ) here was translated “rule” in Genesis 3:16. This suggests that the woman will turn to the man for her dominion and that his rule over her will come to pass.29 As a rule, then, the headship of the man will be the pattern as long as the fallen world of history remains.

The alienation brought about by sin not only affected the God-man and the man-woman relationship; it also disrupted the harmony between man and creation. These three relationships may be described as the vertical-above, the horizontal, and the vertical-below, respectively. Man was created subordinate to God, coordinate to the woman, and dominant over all other creatures. He had been charged with the task of “working” the ground (Gen. 2:15), bringing it and all other things into his service and under his dominion as the vice-regent of God.

Now, however, sin has intruded, and fallen man has forfeited his untrammeled mastery of his environment. He had listened to his wife, thereby submitting to her authority, so now the ground he was created to work would be resistant to his husbandry. His toil now would be painful, the earth would produce worthless and annoying brambles and weeds, and the ground from which he was taken and over which he had been set would conquer him as he was laid beneath its soil in death (Gen. 3:19).

The immediate repercussion was the permanent exile of the man and the woman from the garden, an exile that symbolized their fallenness and exclusion from the privileges of the covenant stipulations for which they had been created. Life outside the garden spoke of life apart from the intimacy of relationship with God, with one another, and with the created order. Such an exile was a repudiation of all the purposes of God for creation, however, so a means of undoing the curse of sin and ultimately its very existence must be set in motion.[16]



Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

PSALM 51:5

Scripture diagnoses sin as a universal deformity of human nature, found at every point in every person (1 Kings 8:46; Rom. 3:9-23; 7:18; 1 John 1:8-10). Both Testaments have names for it that display its ethical character as rebellion against God’s rule, missing the mark God set us to aim at, transgressing God’s law, disobeying God’s directives, offending God’s purity by defiling oneself, and incurring guilt before God the Judge. This moral deformity is dynamic: sin stands revealed as an energy of irrational, negative, and rebellious reaction to God’s call and command, a spirit of fighting God in order to play God. The root of sin is pride and enmity against God, the spirit seen in Adam’s first transgression; and sinful acts always have behind them thoughts, motives, and desires that one way or another express the willful opposition of the fallen heart to God’s claims on our lives.

Sin may be comprehensively defined as lack of conformity to the law of God in act, habit, attitude, outlook, disposition, motivation, and mode of existence. Scriptures that illustrate different aspects of sin include Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 12:30-37; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:18–3:20; 7:7-25; 8:5-8; 14:23 (Luther said that Paul wrote Romans to “magnify sin”); Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19; Hebrews 3:12; James 2:10-11; 1 John 3:4; 5:17. Flesh in Paul usually means a human being driven by sinful desire; the niv renders these instances of the word as “sinful nature.” The particular faults and vices (i.e., forms and expression of sin) that Scripture detects and denounces are too numerous to list here.

Original sin, meaning sin derived from our origin, is not a biblical phrase (Augustine coined it), but it is one that brings into fruitful focus the reality of sin in our spiritual system. The assertion of original sin means not that sin belongs to human nature as God made it (God made mankind upright, Eccles. 7:29), nor that sin is involved in the processes of reproduction and birth (the uncleanness connected with menstruation, semen, and childbirth in Leviticus 12 and 15 was typical and ceremonial only, not moral and real), but that (a) sinfulness marks everyone from birth, and is there in the form of a motivationally twisted heart, prior to any actual sins; (b) this inner sinfulness is the root and source of all actual sins; (c) it derives to us in a real though mysterious way from Adam, our first representative before God. The assertion of original sin makes the point that we are not sinners because we sin, but rather we sin because we are sinners, born with a nature enslaved to sin.

The phrase total depravity is commonly used to make explicit the implications of original sin. It signifies a corruption of our moral and spiritual nature that is total not in degree (for no one is as bad as he or she might be) but in extent. It declares that no part of us is untouched by sin, and therefore no action of ours is as good as it should be, and consequently nothing in us or about us ever appears meritorious in God’s eyes. We cannot earn God’s favor, no matter what we do; unless grace saves us, we are lost.

Total depravity entails total inability, that is, the state of not having it in oneself to respond to God and his Word in a sincere and wholehearted way (John 6:44; Rom. 8:7-8). Paul calls this unresponsiveness of the fallen heart a state of death (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13), and the Westminster Confession says: “Man by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto” (IX. 3).[17]



He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

1 PETER 2:22

The New Testament insists that Jesus was entirely free from sin (John 8:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5). This means not only that he never disobeyed his Father but that he loved God’s law and found wholehearted joy in keeping it. In fallen human beings, there is always some reluctance to obey God, and sometimes resentment amounting to hatred at the claims he makes on us (Rom. 8:7). But Jesus’ moral nature was unfallen, as was Adam’s prior to his sin, and in Jesus there was no prior inclination away from God for Satan to play on, as there is in us. Jesus loved his Father and his Father’s will with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are,” though without sinning. This means that every type of temptation that we face—temptations to wrongfully indulge natural desires of body and mind, to evade moral and spiritual issues, to cut moral corners and take easy ways out, to be less than fully loving and sympathetic and creatively kind to others, to become self-protective and self-pitying, and so on—came upon him, but he yielded to none of them. Overwhelming opposition did not overwhelm him, and through the agony of Gethsemane and the cross he fought temptation and resisted sin to the point where his blood was shed. Christians must learn from him to do likewise (Heb. 12:3-13; Luke 14:25-33).

Jesus’ sinlessness was necessary for our salvation. Had he not been “a lamb without blemish or defect” his blood would not have been “precious” (1 Pet. 1:19). He would have needed a savior himself, and his death would not have redeemed us. His active obedience (perfect lifelong conformity to God’s law for mankind, and to his revealed will for the Messiah) qualified Jesus to become our Savior by dying for us on the cross. Jesus’ passive obedience (enduring the penalty of God’s broken law as our sinless substitute) crowned his active obedience to secure the pardon and acceptance of those who put their faith in him (Rom. 5:18-19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 10:5-10).[18]

While we cannot affirm that a divine person could not have entered this world any other way than by virgin birth, Jesus’ miraculous birth does in fact point to his deity and also to the reality of the creative power that operates in our new birth (John 1:13). Also, while we cannot affirm that God could not have produced sinless humanity apart from virgin birth, Jesus’ humanity was sinless, and the circumstances of his birth call attention to the miracle that was involved when Mary, a sinner (Luke 1:47), gave birth to one who was not “in Adam” as she was, nor therefore needed a Savior as she did. Rather, Jesus was destined through the maintained sinlessness of his unflawed human nature to become the perfect sacrifice for human sins, and so the Savior of his mother and of the rest of the church with her.[19]



The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?


Clear thought about the fallen human condition requires a distinction between what for the past two centuries has been called free agency and what since the start of Christianity has been called free will. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and others spoke of free will in two senses, the first trivial, the second important; but this was confusing, and it is better always to use free agency for their first sense.

Free agency is a mark of human beings as such. All humans are free agents in the sense that they make their own decisions as to what they will do, choosing as they please in the light of their sense of right and wrong and the inclinations they feel. Thus they are moral agents, answerable to God and each other for their voluntary choices. So was Adam, both before and after he sinned; so are we now, and so are the glorified saints who are confirmed in grace in such a sense that they no longer have it in them to sin. Inability to sin will be one of the delights and glories of heaven, but it will not terminate anyone’s humanness; glorified saints will still make choices in accordance with their nature, and those choices will not be any the less the product of human free agency just because they will always be good and right.

Free will, however, has been defined by Christian teachers from the second century on as the ability to choose all the moral options that a situation offers, and Augustine affirmed against Pelagius and most of the Greek Fathers that original sin has robbed us of free will in this sense. We have no natural ability to discern and choose God’s way because we have no natural inclination Godward; our hearts are in bondage to sin, and only the grace of regeneration can free us from that slavery. This, for substance, was what Paul taught in Romans 6:16-23; only the freed will (Paul says, the freed person) freely and heartily chooses righteousness. A permanent love of righteousness—that is, an inclination of heart to the way of living that pleases God—is one aspect of the freedom that Christ gives (John 8:34-36; Gal. 5:1, 13).

It is worth observing that will is an abstraction. My will is not a part of me which I choose to move or not to move, like my hand or my foot; it is precisely me choosing to act and then going into action. The truth about free agency, and about Christ freeing sin’s slave from sin’s dominion, can be expressed more clearly if the word will is dropped and each person says: I am the morally responsible free agency; I am the slave of sin whom Christ must liberate; I am the fallen being who only have it in me to choose against God till God renews my heart.[20]



So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.


The statement at the start of the Bible (Gen. 1:26-27, echoed in 5:1; 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9) that God made man in his own image, so that humans are like God as no other earthly creatures are, tells us that the special dignity of being human is that, as humans, we may reflect and reproduce at our own creaturely level the holy ways of God, and thus act as his direct representatives on earth. This is what humans are made to do, and in one sense we are human only to the extent that we are doing it.

The scope of God’s image in man is not defined in Genesis 1:26-27, but the context makes it clear. Genesis 1:1-25 sets forth God as personal, rational (having intelligence and will, able to form plans and execute them), creative, competent to control the world he has made, and morally admirable, in that all he creates is good. Plainly, God’s image will include all these qualities. Verses 28-30 show God blessing newly created humans (that must mean telling them their privilege and destiny) and setting them to rule creation as his representatives and deputies. The human capacity for communication and relationship with both God and other humans, and the God-given dominion over the lower creation (highlighted in Ps. 8 as the answer to the question, What is man?), thus appear as further facets of the image.

God’s image in man at Creation, then, consisted (a) in man’s being a “soul” or “spirit” (Gen. 2:7, where the niv correctly says “living being”; Eccles. 12:7), that is, a personal, self-conscious, Godlike creature with a Godlike capacity for knowledge, thought, and action; (b) in man’s being morally upright, a quality lost at the Fall that is now being progressively restored in Christ (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10); (c) in man’s environmental dominion. Usually, and reasonably, it is added that (d) man’s God-given immortality and (e) the human body, through which we experience reality, express ourselves, and exercise our dominion, belong to the image too.

The body belongs to the image, not directly, since God, as we noted earlier, does not have one, but indirectly, inasmuch as the God-like activities of exercising dominion over the material creation and demonstrating affection to other rational beings make our embodiment necessary. There is no fully human life without a functioning body, whether here or hereafter. That truth, implicit in Genesis 1, was made explicit by the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ: as the true image of God in his humanity as well as in his divinity. The glorified Lord Jesus is embodied to all eternity, just as Christians will be.

The Fall diminished God’s image not only in Adam and Eve but in all their descendants, that is, the whole human race. We retain the image structurally, in the sense that our humanity is intact, but not functionally, for we are now sin’s slaves and unable to use our powers to mirror God’s holiness. Regeneration begins the process of restoring God’s moral image in our lives, but not till we are fully sanctified and glorified shall we reflect God perfectly in thought and action as mankind was made to do and as the incarnate Son of God in his humanity did and does (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29, 46; Rom. 6:4, 5, 10; 8:11).[21]

Regeneration is birth; sanctification is growth. In regeneration, God implants desires that were not there before: desire for God, for holiness, and for the hallowing and glorifying of God’s name in this world; desire to pray, worship, love, serve, honor, and please God; desire to show love and bring benefit to others. In sanctification, the Holy Spirit “works in you to will and to act” according to God’s purpose; what he does is prompt you to “work out your salvation” (i.e., express it in action) by fulfilling these new desires (Phil. 2:12-13). Christians become increasingly Christlike as the moral profile of Jesus (the “fruit of the Spirit”) is progressively formed in them (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:19; 5:22-25). Paul’s use of glory in 2 Corinthians 3:18 shows that for him sanctification of character is glorification begun. Then the physical transformation that gives us a body like Christ’s, one that will match our totally transformed character and be a perfect means of expressing it, will be glorification completed (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:49-53).[22]



The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation and
I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

GENESIS 12:1-3

Covenants in Scripture are solemn agreements, negotiated or unilaterally imposed, that bind the parties to each other in permanent defined relationships, with specific promises, claims, and obligations on both sides (e.g., the marriage covenant, Mal. 2:14).

When God makes a covenant with his creatures, he alone establishes its terms, as his covenant with Noah and every living creature shows (Gen. 9:9). When Adam and Eve failed to obey the terms of the covenant of works (Gen. 3:6), God did not destroy them, but revealed his covenant of grace to them by promising a Savior (Gen. 3:15).[23]

There will be continuity between the mortal and the immortal body, as there was in Jesus’ case, for it was the body in which he had died that was raised. Paul compares the relation between the resurrection body and the mortal body to the relation between a seed and the plant that grows out of it (1 Cor. 15:35-44), a kind of continuity, we should note, that allows for great differences between the starting point and the end product. Also, says Paul, there will be in every case a contrast of quality. Our present bodies, like Adam’s, are natural and earthly, subject to all sorts of weakness and decay until finally they perish. But our resurrection bodies, like Christ’s, will be spiritual (created, indwelt, and sustained by the Holy Spirit) and will belong to the eternal, imperishable, immortal, heavenly order of things (1 Cor. 15:45-54).[24]


When Adam and Eve were created, they stood in a moral relationship with God, their Creator. They possessed a duty of obedience to Him without any inherent claim to reward or blessing for such obedience. In His love, mercy, and grace, however, God voluntarily entered into a covenant with His creatures by which He added a promise of blessing to His law. This was not a covenant of equal partners, but one that rested on God’s initiative and His divine authority.

The original covenant between God and humankind was a covenant of works. In this covenant, God required perfect and total obedience to His rule. He promised eternal life as the blessing of obedience, but threatened mankind with death for disobeying God’s law. All human beings from Adam to the present are inescapably members of this covenant. People may refuse to obey or even acknowledge the existence of such a covenant, but they can never escape it. All human beings are in a covenant relationship to God, either as covenant breakers or covenant keepers. The covenant of works is the basis of our need of redemption (because we have violated it) and our hope of redemption (because Christ has fulfilled its terms for us).

A single sin is enough to violate the covenant of works and make us debtors who cannot pay our own debt to God. That we, after even a single sin, have any hope of redemption is due to God’s grace and God’s grace alone.

The rewards we will receive from God in heaven are also acts of grace. They are God’s crowning of His own gracious gifts. Had Adam been obedient to God’s covenant of works, he would only have achieved the merit that comes by virtue of fulfilling the covenant agreement with God. Because Adam fell into sin, God, in His mercy, added a new covenant of grace by which salvation became possible and actual.

Only one human being has ever kept the covenant of works. That person was Jesus. His work as the second or new Adam fulfilled all the terms of our original covenant with God. His merit in achieving this is available to all who put their trust in Him.

Jesus is the first person to get into heaven by His good works. We also get into heaven by good works—the good works of Jesus. They become “our” good works when we receive Christ by faith. When we put our faith in Christ, God credits the good works of Christ to our account. The covenant of grace fulfills the covenant of works because God graciously applies the merit of Christ to our account. Thus by grace we meet the terms set forth in the covenant of works.


1. God entered into a covenant of works with Adam and Eve.

2. All humans are inescapably related to God’s covenant of works.

3. All human beings are violators of the covenant of works.

4. Jesus fulfilled the covenant of works.

5. The covenant of grace provides us with the merits of Christ by which the terms of the covenant of works are satisfied.

Biblical passages for reflection:

Genesis 2:17

Romans 3:20-26

Romans 10:5-13

Galatians 3:10-14[25]

Adam. “Adam” is both the proper name of the first human and a designation for humankind. God himself gave this appellation to Adam and Eve (Gen. 5:1–2). The color red lies behind the Hebrew root ˒ādām. This may reflect the red soil from which he was made.

Adam was formed from the ground (Gen. 2:7). Word play between “Adam” and “ground” (ădāmâ) is unmistakable. It is important that Adam is identified with humankind rather than any particular nationality. The country from which the dust was taken is not specified. Rabbis believed it came from all over the earth so no one could say, “My father is greater than yours.”

The word “formed” suggests the careful work of a potter making an exquisite art-piece. Into this earthen vessel God breathed the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). These words describe vivid intimacy between God and man not shared by animals.

Adam was made a little lower than “angels” (or “God”) at his creation and “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). (Rabbis speculated the glory of Adam’s heel outshone the sun.) He was commissioned as a vassal king to rule over God’s creation. The words “subdue,” “rule,” “under his feet” (Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:6) suggest kingship over nature but not over his fellow man.

Many elements present in Mesopotamian creation stories like Enuma Elish are absent. There is nothing about autocratic king ship lowered from heaven. No brick mold is given. Adam is not laden with the task of building temples and cities. He was not created to relieve Gods of tedious labor but to reflect God’s care of the world of nature. God did not appoint death for Adam and keep life exclusively for himself as in the Gilgameth epic.

No shrub or cultivated plant had yet grown where Adam was created. He awoke to a barren landscape (Gen. 2:5–7). His first sight may have been God planting a garden for him. He could clearly see that all good and perfect gifts come from the Lord God.

Man was placed into this beauty to “work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15). Unlike the Sumerian garden story of Enki and Ninhursag, there was no gardener working for Adam. Meaningful, productive activity was always part of paradise. Adam was not placed there to be a vegetable but to grow them. Man was not created to be waited on but to join God in preserving and propagating creation.

Man was furnished with every pleasant, nourishing experience God could provide. He was warned about the tree of knowledge of good and evil (2:17). The Hebrew word for “know” includes the idea of knowing by experience. The forbidden tree contained the option of experiencing the opposite of what comes from the hand of God. God wished to spare Adam from pain and death but at the same time left him freedom of choice for options beyond the sphere of his provision.

Adam was not only a laborer but a thinker. God brought him all the animals to see what he would call them. Included in ancient ideas of naming would also be sovereignty over the item named. (Note that Hebrews brought before the king are renamed in Dan. 1:7.)

The first lesson Adam learned was that his work was too big to do alone. His inspection of the animal kingdom revealed no suitable helper. The one who would make his life complete came from his own rib. They would become one flesh (Gen. 2:18–24). This is a far different scenario from the sexual escapades of Enki (= “lord of the earth”) in the Sumerian garden story.

The most intelligent animal confronted humankind under whose feet he had been placed (Gen. 1:28; 3:1). Was Eve selected because she would in some way be easier to deceive? Or was the more difficult subject taken first? It is noteworthy that no special efforts to persuade Adam are recorded. He seems to eat what he is offered without objection (3:6). It is, however, important to observe that Adam was called first as the one whose position of leadership made him responsible for the act (3:9).

The anticipation of being like God never materialized. Adam and Eve’s state of existence was not enhanced but filled with misery and death. They would have to leave the garden to experience what life would be outside God’s perfect will.

Paul Ferguson[26]

There is here a tacit antithesis between Adam and Christ, which he elsewhere explains more clearly when he says, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them,” (Eph. 2:10). His meaning is to show in this way that our salvation is gratuitous because the beginning of goodness is from the second creation which is obtained in Christ. If any, even the minutest, ability were in ourselves, there would also be some merit.[27]


Genesis 3 does not describe the origin of sin, but it does describe the entrance of sin into the realm of humanity. Genesis 3 describes a historical event; Adam and Eve were historical people who sinned against God in time and space. The historicity of this event is essential if an analogy is to be seen in Romans 5:12–21. If Adam was not a real creature who brought sin

Viewpoints   Analysis
  Material Non-material
Dichotomy Body Soul---------------------------------------------
Trichotomy Body Soul
Multi-faceted Body Soul---------------------------------------------

into the human race at one point in history, then there is no point to Jesus’ redeeming humanity at another point in history. Christ’s own testimony, however, confirms Genesis 3 as a historical event (Matt. 19:3–5).

The test. During their life in the garden, God tested Adam and Eve regarding their obedience. They were free to eat of the fruit from any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16–17). The test was simple: it was to determine whether or not they would believe God and obey Him. Disobedience, however, was highly consequential—it meant death, both physical and spiritual death. God’s purpose in the test was to give Adam and Eve a knowledge of sin through obedience by not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. They came to a knowledge of good and evil, but they attained the knowledge in the wrong manner.24

The temptation. The avenue through which the temptation came to man and woman was the serpent (Gen. 3:1). However, the temptation must be seen as coming through Satan; the devil inspired Cain to kill his brother (John 8:44). The devil is called the serpent of old (Rev. 12:9; 20:2), and the allusion in Romans 16:20 indicates that the judgment of Genesis 3:15 refers to Satan, not simply the serpent. The serpent was crafty (Gen. 3:1), hence, Satan would be crafty in conducting his test. His strategy can be summarized in three phases.

(1) Satan raised doubt concerning God’s Word (Gen. 3:1).25 The temptation created suspicion about the goodness of God; it raised a question whether God was dealing wisely and fairly with Adam and Eve. Eve succumbed to the temptation in that she exaggerated God’s prohibition by her response to Satan (Gen. 3:3). God had said nothing about touching the fruit.

(2) Satan lied by saying they would not die (Gen. 3:4). Satan made a categorical denial of God’s earlier statement; Satan said, “You surely shall not die!”26

(3) Satan told a partial truth (Gen. 3:5). Satan told them they would be like God, knowing good and evil if they ate the fruit. It was true they would know good and evil, but Satan did not tell them the rest—he did not tell them about the pain, suffering, and death that would occur through their sin. The test was in three areas, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16; cf. Matt. 4:1–11).

The results of the sin. (1) Judgment on the serpent (Gen. 3:14). The serpent had earlier been a noble creature; as a result of the judgment it was altered in form and shape. Because the serpent exalted itself it would now be forced to crawl on its belly and eat the dust of the earth as it crawled along.

(2) Judgment on Satan (Gen. 3:15). Genesis 3:15 must be understood as addressed not to the serpent, but to Satan. There would be enmity between Satan’s seed (unbelievers and possibly demons) and the woman’s seed (believers, but specifically Christ). “He shall bruise you on the head” indicates Christ delivered a death blow to Satan at the cross (Col. 2:14–15; Heb. 2:14). Christ would have a major victory. “You shall bruise Him on the heel” suggests Satan would have a minor victory in the fact that Christ died; nonetheless, that death became Satan’s own defeat.

(3) Judgment on the woman (Gen. 3:16). The woman would experience pain in childbirth. The pain (Heb. yizabon) in childbirth is similarlyused of Adam’s toil (Gen. 3:17). Both would suffer in their respective roles. The desire of the woman would be toward her husband. This is a difficult phrase and may mean (a) sexual desire (Song of Sol. 7:10), (b) desire for security under her husband’s authority, or (c) desire to rule over her husband (cf. Gen. 4:7).27 A final aspect of the judgment upon the woman was that the husband would rule over her.

(4) Judgment on the man (Gen. 3:17–19). The first judgment was against the ground. No longer would the earth spontaneously produce its fruit but only through hard toil by the man. The second judgment on the man was death. Adam had been made from the elements of the ground. The death process would return the man to the dust from which his body had been taken.

(5) Judgment on the human race (Rom. 5:12). The result of Adam’s sin was passed on to the entire human race. All humanity now became subject to death.

(6) Judgment on creation (Gen. 3:17–18). All animal and plant life would be affected by the sin of Adam. Animal life and nature would resist the man. Animals would become wild and ferocious; plant life would produce weeds to hinder productivity. All creation would groan with the effect of the Fall and anxiously long for the day of restoration (Rom. 8:19–21).[28]

God placed man in the garden and gave man the opportunity to obey Him and lead the human race into eternal blessing (he could have been confirmed in righteousness by eating from the tree of life). It was a test concerning Adam’s loyalty and obedience to God.

The solicitation to sin came to Eve through the serpent. The fact that the serpent could tempt Eve suggests evil was present (although man had not yet sinned). It must forever remain a riddle as to where sin came from; it is one of the mysteries of life. Although it was the serpent speaking, it was Satan who engineered the temptation. It was possible because he was “crafty” (“clever,” Matt. 10:16). The serpent opposed the glory of God and sought to disrupt man’s fellowship with God and man’s rule over God’s creation. Satan, through the serpent, raised doubt about God’s word (Gen. 3:1); he lied by saying that man would not die (Gen. 3:4), expressing it in strongest terms, “You surely shall not die!”6 Eve submitted to the temptation, sinning in the manner common to the human race: through the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (cf. 1 John 2:16). Adam also participated in the sin; although Eve was deceived (1 Tim. 2:14), Adam realized what he was doing, hence, the greater judgment. For this reason Adam is constituted the first sinner (Rom. 5:12–21).[29]



Determine how Adam is described and illustrated in the rest of the Bible?


The apostle Paul described Jesus as the Second Adam, an epithet associated with His salvific and redemptive work and with His role as the “first Man” of a regenerate community. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22; cf.1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 5:12–17). Although this redemptive aspect of Jesus as the Second Adam cannot be emphasized too much, it may be instructive also to view the life of Jesus as the life of the Second Adam, and to note that Jesus came not only to die but also to live. And the life He lived demonstrated by its power and perfection all that God created Adam and all men to be. In other words, Jesus fulfilled in His life the potentialities of unfallen Adam just as by His death He restored all mankind to those potentialities.

A few examples from the gospels must suffice. On one occasion Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a furious storm overtook the boat and threatened to swamp it. Jesus, awakened by the disciples, rebuked the winds and waves, and so startling were the results that His friends asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matt. 8:23–27). Although one could easily argue that Jesus worked this miracle because of His deity, that does not seem to be the conclusion of those who witnessed the event. Of particular interest in the account (see also Mark 4:36–41; Luke 8:22–25) is the disciples’ sense of Jesus’ sovereignty over creation. Jesus spoke to the elements as their lord and they obeyed Him. Is this not akin to the dominion to which Adam was appointed?  No. See Gen 1:28 “subdue”[30] Adam was not given the capacity to ‘interfere’ with the creation or the created order, but was required to interact with it. He was not God, and God did not recreate Himself in Adam.. Also NO to Jesus inviting Peter to be the first Adam by walking on the water. NB dominion could be expressed by Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt that had not been ridden before (Matt. 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–10; Luke 19:29–38).


Man’s sin in Noah’s day was grievous and painful to the Lord, who regretted He had created man in the first place. He therefore determined to bury man beneath the waters of the sea just as He had buried Adam beneath the surface of the ground. The chaotic waters that had yielded submissively to the hand of the Creator so that dry land appeared would be unleashed now by the Creator as an instrument of His vindictive wrath. But even so the original creative purposes would not be stymied and curtailed because God would begin again with another Adam, another image who would maintain the mandate of sovereignty. This “Adam” of course was none other than Noah.[31] There are many differences here as well as some similarities.


The tenor of the biblical narrative suggests that the call of Abram to covenant service was as much an act of divine elective grace as was the creation of Adam and the choice of Noah, his two most illustrious covenant forebears.[32]

Thus the Abrahamic Covenant, along with its Adamic and Noahic predecessors, must be viewed as an unconditional grant made by Yahweh to His servant Abram, a grant that was to serve a specific and irrevocable function. Much more expansive and variegated than the other two statements, the Abrahamic, nevertheless, is built squarely on them in all its essential elements. [33]

The Tower of Babel story reveals unmistakably that the tower builders had one objective in mind: “that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4). That is, they refused to obey the second element of the Adamic mandate, to “fill the earth and subdue it” (1:28).[34]

Clearly then these two stories of covenant violation point to the same root problem. Man, charged as the image of God to be His vice-regent on the earth, was dissatisfied with that high and holy calling and rebelled against his sovereign with the end in view of supplanting His lordship and assuming it for himself. He wanted to be like God or, to put it in the biblical language itself, “the man has now become like one of Us” (Gen. 3:22) and “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (11:6).[35]

In the meantime, in human history Yahweh elected a nation, Israel, to mediate His saving purposes to the world and also to provide a model of sovereignty on the earth. Thus Abraham was called and received a promise that through his descent all the earth would be blessed. A corollary promise was that he would sire kings, a promise narrowed in the blessing of Jacob to a ruler who would come from the tribe of Judah. Picking up on this line of expectation, the chronicler made the direct connection between Adam and Abraham and then between Abraham and David, his purpose being to show that David and his royal house were the physical and historical expression of the dominion mandate given to Adam and channeled through Abraham and his seed. The king of Israel was therefore more than a mere political figure; he was the messianic ruler who stood as second Adam in dominion over all things but who, because he was human, stood also as a type of anticipation of the sinless One who would climax and complete the line of David.29[36]

He turns then to the ruler of Tyre, and in a poetic prophecy he first points out the boasting arrogance of the king (28:2b–5) and then his violent overthrow and death (vv. 6–10). He concludes with another song of lamentation (vv. 12b–19), which once more consists of a review of the past glories of the king (vv. 12b–15a), his temptation and fall (vv. 15b–16a), and his eventual dethronement and demise (vv. 16b–19). The language of this dirge is filled with reference to primordial themes, such as “Eden, the garden of God” (v. 13), the “guardian cherub” (v. 14), and expulsion from “the mount of God” (v. 16), so much so that one can hardly fail to see the fall of mankind underlying the fall of the ruler of Tyre.36 This is likely the intent of the oracle, for all wickedness, whether in a ruler or a common man, finds its source ultimately in Adam, the “anointed cherub” who fell through pride. The oracle against the prince of Tyre becomes a theological statement about the origin of all rebellion and insubordination.[37]  This has to be rubbish. Adam’s sin was entirely his own - not Eve’s nor the serpent’s. Satan’s sin is also entirely his own.

By its very form as well as language the Sinai Covenant is a compact in the mold of a sovereign-vassal treaty. It thus differs from the Adamic-Noahic-Abrahamic Covenant(s) in that respect, though it functions in continuity with and fulfillment of them. It is the vehicle by which Israel, the chosen seed of Abraham, obligated herself to be Yahweh’s servant people in mediating the salvific grace of God to His fallen and alienated creation. The election of Israel to be the people of Yahweh by promise and redemption was unconditional, but her function and capacity as a holy nation and priestly kingdom depended on her faithful adherence to the covenant made through Moses.[38]

Paul, in Romans, affirms that all mankind is naturally under the guilt and power of sin, the reign of death, and the inescapable wrath of God (Rom. 3:9, 19; 5:17, 21; 1:18-19; cf. the whole section, 1:18–3:20). He traces this back to the sin of the one man whom, when speaking at Athens, he described as our common ancestor (Rom. 5:12-14; Acts 17:26; cf. 1 Cor. 15:22). This is authoritative apostolic interpretation of the history recorded in Genesis 3, where we find the account of the Fall, the original human lapse from God and godliness into sin and lostness. The main points in that history, as seen through the lens of Paul’s interpretation, are as follows:

(a) God made the first man the representative for all his posterity, just as he was to make Jesus Christ the representative for all God’s elect (Rom. 5:15-19 with 8:29-30; 9:22-26). In each case the representative was to involve those whom he represented in the fruits of his personal action, whether for good or ill, just as a national leader involves his people in the consequences of his action when, for instance, he declares war. This divinely chosen arrangement, whereby Adam would determine the destiny of his descendants, has been called the covenant of works, though this is not a biblical phrase.

(b) God set the first man in a state of happiness and promised to continue this to him and his posterity after him if he showed fidelity by a course of perfect positive obedience and specifically by not eating from a tree described as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It would seem that the tree bore this name because the issue was whether Adam would let God tell him what was good and bad for him or would seek to decide that for himself, in disregard of what God had said. By eating from this tree Adam would, in effect, be claiming that he could know and decide what was good and evil for him without any reference to God.

(c) Adam, led by Eve, who was herself led by the serpent (Satan in disguise: 2 Cor. 11:3 with v. 14; Rev. 12:9), defied God by eating the forbidden fruit. The results were that, first, the anti-God, self-aggrandizing mindset expressed in Adam’s sin became part of him and of the moral nature that he passed on to his descendants (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:9-20). Second, Adam and Eve found themselves gripped by a sense of pollution and guilt that made them ashamed and fearful before God—with good reason. Third, they were cursed with expectations of pain and death, and they were expelled from Eden. At the same time, however, God began to show them saving mercy; he made them skin garments to cover their nakedness, and he promised that the woman’s seed would one day break the serpent’s head. This foreshadowed Christ.

Though telling the story in a somewhat figurative style, Genesis asks us to read it as history; in Genesis, Adam is linked to the patriarchs and with them to the rest of mankind by genealogy (chs. 5, 10, 11), which makes him as much a part of space-time history as were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All the book’s main characters after Adam, except Joseph, are shown as sinners in one way or another, and the death of Joseph, like the death of almost everyone else in the story, is carefully recorded (Gen. 50:22-26); Paul’s statement “In Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:22) only makes explicit what Genesis already clearly implies.

It may fairly be claimed that the Fall narrative gives the only convincing explanation of the perversity of human nature that the world has ever seen. Pascal said that the doctrine of original sin seems an offense to reason, but once accepted it makes total sense of the entire human condition. He was right, and the same thing may and should be said of the Fall narrative itself.[39]

Adam, the Second. Christ is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col. 1:15). Like the first Adam, he is the “ruler of … creation” (Rev. 3:14). He is its author and perfecter (Heb. 12:2). Anyone in Christ is a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17).

He existed in the form of God, yet did not consider equality with God something to be grasped (Phil. 2:6). He did not desire to be more than man (2:7–8). He was “made like his brothers in every way” so that “by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death” and free those held in slavery by fear of death (Heb. 2:14, 17).

Christ was crowned with glory and honor over the world to come (Heb. 2:5–7). The first Adam lost his crown and gained death. The second Adam was crowned because he tasted death for every man (2:8–9). Sin and death upon all men entered the world through one man. By the obedience of the second Adam life abounds to many (Rom. 5:12–19).

He was tempted in every way, as was Adam, yet was without sin (Matt. 4:1–11; Heb. 4:15). Like the serpent he says, “Take and eat” (Matt. 26:26), but this food brings life to the world (John 6:33). Christ and Adam are both sons of God (Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:37). Both have their sonship by his power (Gen. 2:7; Luke 1:35; Rom. 1:4). God breathed into Adam the breath of life. Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).

“As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Adam was a pattern of the one to come (Rom. 5:14). One of the greatest things to be said for the first Adam was that he became “a living being.” Christ, however, became “a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). This spiritual life force does not make us slaves again to fear but the spirit of the Son comes into our hearts crying “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6–7).

The first Adam came from the dust. The second Adam came from heaven (1 Cor. 15:47). He came down from heaven not to do his own will but the will of him who sent him (John 6:38). God called the first man by name out of hiding (Gen. 3:9). The second Adam calls his own by name and they hear his voice (John 10:3). One day the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. Those who hear will live (John 5:25).

We have borne the likeness of the earthly man, the first Adam. In the resurrection we will bear the likeness of the man from heaven (1 Cor. 15:49). By the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, he will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like his glorious body. The last enemy placed under the feet of the second Adam is death (Ps. 110:1; 1 Cor. 15:26). He will not reach out and try to grasp more but will turn everything over to God who will be all in all (15:28).     Paul Ferguson[40]


God sees but two representative men and all humanity is comprehended either in one or the other. He sees the first Adam with a race fallen and lost in him, and He sees the Last Adam with a new creation redeemed and exalted in Him. Vital distinctions are observable between these two headships. The truth revealed respecting Adam may be divided into that found in the Old Testament and that found in the New Testament.

1.     According to the Old Testament. The Old Testament contribution to this doctrine from which important facts and features may be drawn is almost wholly historical. Adam appears as one directly created by God and as the progenitor of the human race. Record is made of his estate as created, of his relationship to God, of his temptation, and of his fall. He is thus presented as a living person and endowed with the same capacities as all other men who appear in the Sacred Text. Not only does Genesis record Adam’s origin and estate, but all subsequent Scripture builds its teaching on the reality and truthfulness of the Genesis account. In this the Bible is consistent with itself. Having declared the origin of the race after the manner set forth in Genesis, it treats those records as true. There is no shadow of suspicion that any other theory relative to man’s origin exists. Thus he who rejects the Genesis account rejects the whole Bible in so far as it bears upon the origin, development, history, redemption, and destiny of the race. In the doctrinal scheme of the Bible Adam and Christ are so interwoven and interdependent that it must be concluded that if the Genesis account respecting Adam be erroneous—on the theory he was a character who never existed—the record respecting Christ is subject to question also.

It is evident that Adam was created a full-grown man with the capacity which belongs to maturity. He is said to have given names to all creatures as they passed before him. He walked and talked with God, and of him God could say that His creation was very good. There would be little meaning to Adam’s temptation and fall as the head of the race if, as has been asserted, he was immature in his mind and character.

2.     According to the New Testament. The New Testament teaching regarding Adam and Christ is one of type and antitype; but in every respect save one—namely, that each is the head of a creation of beings—the typology is one of contrast. Two primary passages are to be considered and also other secondary passages.

a.     ROMANS 5:12–21. Observing but two representative men, God sees likewise just two works—one of disobedience and one of obedience—and two results—one of death and one of life. The race is thus divided into two main classifications: those in Adam, lost and undone, and those in Christ, saved and secure forever. This most important passage bearing upon the relation between Adam and Christ—theological to the last degree—draws out the distinctions which exist between Adam and Christ.

As he was warned of God, Adam died both spiritually (which took place at once) and physically (which occurred eventually) as a result of his first sin, and the race that was included with him shared in the same twofold judgment of death. Resulting from Adam’s first sin are two lines of effects reaching down alike to every member of Adam’s race. One is the sin nature, which results in spiritual death and is transmitted mediately from parent to child; the other is imputed sin with its penalty of physical death, which is transmitted immediately from Adam to each individual member of his race. A person dies physically not because Adam alone sinned, not because of personal sins, and not because of the sin nature; he dies because of his own share—in the seminal sense—in the original sin which drew out the judgment of death. Because its natural head in creation, Adam is seen as representative of the entire race. In that headship position he contained the race and his lapse, or sin, is imputed with its penalty of physical death to his posterity as an actual imputation; because of what is antecedently their own sin, then, physical death as a judgment falls on all alike, even on those, such as infants, who have not sinned—as Adam did—willfully (Rom. 5:14). This divine principle of reckoning heavy responsibility to an unborn posterity is seen again in Hebrews 7:9–10 where Levi, the great grandson of Abraham, is declared to have paid tithes to Melchizedek, being yet in the loins of his great grandfather Abraham (cf. Gen. 14:20). Romans 5:12 declares that all his race sinned in Adam and when Adam sinned. No other interpretation than that will carry through the remaining verses of this context.

b.     I CORINTHIANS 15:22. This Scripture reads: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Such is the Authorized Version reading of this important declaration. There is no difficulty regarding the first clause, that “in Adam all die”; but as for the rest of the verse, the same numerical all—πάντες—who suffer the death penalty are not necessarily in Christ, though all—πάντες—will be made alive: for, as Christ said, “the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28–29). It is more fully in accordance with the context which follows (1 Cor. 15:23–24) if the passage is understood to mean that all men die because of Adam and all men—the same numerical all—will be raised by or because of Christ. For the context continues by saying that every man will be raised in his own classification; every man will be raised—that disclosure precludes a restriction of the context to those only who are in Christ by position. Such a limited type of resurrection, nevertheless, is later declared by the words “they that are Christ’s at his coming” (vs. 23). The subject in view is clearly universal death through Adam and universal resurrection through Christ. Romans 5:18 presents a similar case with a twofold use of πάντες.

c.     SECONDARY PASSAGES. In 1 Corinthians 15:45 it is asserted that, in contrast again, Adam was made a life-receiving soul while Christ is a life-giving Spirit. In like manner (vs. 47), Adam was “of the earth, earthy”; the Second Man is none other than the Lord from heaven. Though the believer has borne the image of the earthy, he is appointed to bear the image of the heavenly. He will be “conformed to the image” of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Again in 1 Timothy 2:13–14 it is said that Adam, quite in contrast to Eve, was not deceived in his transgression. Adam sinned knowingly and willfully. In Romans 5:14 reference is made to those who, because of immaturity and incompetency, have not sinned after “the similitude of Adam’s transgression” (that is, knowingly and willfully). Thus also in Jude 1:14 Enoch is declared to be the “seventh from Adam,” as throughout the entire Bible Adam is recognized for a living man, the beginning of the human race. In the genealogy of Christ given by Luke Christ is traced back to Adam who, it is averred, was the son of God (Luke 3:38). Christ Himself upholds the Genesis record respecting Adam and Eve (cf. Matt. 19:4–6; Mark 10:6–8).[41]

In the eschaton God will change the inner constitution of ˒ādām (fully restore the divine image) so as to eliminate the possibility of a fall and assure eternal possession of the ˒ădāmâ which yields its fruit freely (Ezk 36:25–30; cf. Jer 31:33–34; II Cor 5:17; Heb 8:8–12)—the return to the garden of Eden (Ezk 36:35).[42]


Interact with the idea of Adam as a priority of Creation:



Discuss the unique relationships Adam had with God and the rest of creation:


ASV American Standard Version of the Bible

RSV Revised Standard Version of the Bible

TDOT H. Botterweck and H. Ringren, Theological Dictionary of the O.T., I–III, 1974ff.

[1]Harris, R. Laird, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed., Page 010. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980.

[2]Harris, R. Laird, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed., Page 010. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980.

PTOT J.B. Payne, Theology of the Old Testament, 1962

[3]Harris, R. Laird, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed., Page 010. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980.

[4]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 182

[5]Sproul, R.C. Grace Unknown : The Heart of Reformed Theology. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000, c1997.

[6]Evans, William, and S. Maxwell Coder. The Great Doctrines of the Bible. Includes Index. Enl. ed. /. Chicago: Moody Press, 1998, c1974.p 57

[7]Harris, R. Laird, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed., Page 010. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980.

[8]Evans, William, and S. Maxwell Coder. The Great Doctrines of the Bible. Includes Index. Enl. ed. /. Chicago: Moody Press, 1998, c1974.p 129

[9]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 15

21 21. Manfred Hutter, “Adam als Gärtner und König,” Adam als Gärtner und König 30 (1986): 258–62.

[10]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p15

22 22. Von Rad, Genesis, p. 81. For a careful nuancing of this, however, see George W. Ramsey, “Is Name-Giving an Act of Domination in Genesis 2:23 and Elsewhere?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 50 (1988): 24–35.

[11]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 15

[12]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.

Adam and Eve Vita Adae et Evae or Life of Adam and Eve

[13]Christensen, Duane L. Vol. 6B, Word Biblical Commentary : Deuteronomy 21:10-34:12. Word Biblical Commentary, Page 748. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002.p 748

27 27. Westermann, Genesis, p. 227.

[14]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 19

[15]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 20

28 28. So, for example, F. L. Godet, Commentary on First Corinthians (1899; reprint, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1977), p. 539.

29 29. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward Old Testament Ethics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983), pp. 204–6

[16]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 21

[17]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[18]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[19]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[20]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[21]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[22]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[23]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[24]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

[25]Sproul, R. C. Essential Truths of the Christian Faith. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1996, c1992.

Paul Ferguson Ferguson, Paul Ph.D., Professor of Old Testament, Christian Life College, Mount Prospect, Illinois.

[26]Elwell, Walter A., and Walter A. Elwell. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. electronic ed. Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, c1996.

[27]Calvin, Jean, and Henry Beveridge. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Translation of: Institutio Christianae Religionis.; Reprint, With New Introd. Originally Published: Edinburgh : Calvin Translation Society, 1845-1846., II, iii, 6. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.

24 24. C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, 25 vols. (Reprint. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968), 1:84–86.

25 25. Ibid., 1:94. ’Ap kî (Heb.) literally means “Indeed, really!” “’Ap kĦ is an interrogative expressing surprise (as in 1 Sam. 23:3; 2 Sam. 4:11): ‘Is it really the fact that God has prohibited you from eating of all the trees of the garden?’”

26 26. The construction is an infinitive absolute: “You will by no means die!” “The Infinitive Absolute expresses emphasis when it immediately precedes the finite verb.” J. Weingreen, A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959), p. 79.

27 27. The word desire (shuq) occurs only three times in the Old Testament ( Gen. 3:16, 4:7; S. of S. 7:10). In Genesis 4:17 it refers to sin’s desire for mastery over man; in Song of Solomon 7:10 it refers to sexual desire. The word means “to have a violent craving for a thing,” Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, 1:10 3.

[28]Enns, Paul P. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1997, c1989.

6 6. The Hebrew construction is an infinitive absolute which expresses emphasis when it immediately precedes the verb.

[29]Enns, Paul P. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1997, c1989.

[30]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 17

[31]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 23

[32]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 26

[33]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 26

[34]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 25

[35]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 25

29 29. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward an Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978), pp. 143–64.

[36]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 180

36 36. Though many scholars see the fall of Satan here, this is unlikely because the expulsion is from the Garden of Eden and not heaven. For arguments supporting this dirge as a reflex of Adam’s fall, see J. Barton Payne, The Theology of the Older Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962), pp. 294–95.

[37]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 384

[38]Zuck, Roy B., Eugene H. Merrill, and Darrell L. Bock. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991.p 35

[39]Packer, J. I. Concise Theology : A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1995, c1993.

Paul Ferguson, Paul Ph.D., Professor of Old Testament, Christian Life College, Mount Prospect, Illinois.

[40]Elwell, Walter A., and Walter A. Elwell. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. electronic ed. Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, c1996.

[41]Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Originally Published: Dallas, Tex. : Dallas Seminary Press, 1947-1948., Vol. 7, Page 6. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993.

[42]Harris, R. Laird, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed., Page 011. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980. H 127

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