Saturday, January 17, 2009

Individuality of Adam

That may be a bad post title, but it was the best I could come up with in five seconds.

Some (many?) believe that Adam was not a literal person. Evangelicals who hold to a form of theistic evolution which regards the beginning of Genesis as non-literal say that, among other things, since the Hebrew word for Adam is phonetically similar (derived?) from the word for ground, the pronoun Adam does not a proper noun of an individual, but a type/species. Probably other reasons are given for holding to this, but regardless the point is that Adam was not a literal person.

Here is a question for those who would hold to this. You can hold to a symbolic or allegorical interpretation of Genesis 1-3, but what about the rest of Scripture that refers to Adam as a real person? No, I'm not referring to Romans 5 where Jesus is the second Adam. I'm referring to those oft forgotten lists of genealogies.

Take Genesis 5:3-5, for example. In this genealogy, Adam is not only listed as a father, but is given a lifespan. If you can manage to explain that away and continue to say that Adam was not a literal person, what about every other person in the list all the way down to Noah? If Adam is not literal, at what point do those gentlemen start becoming actual people?

But let's not stop there. You also have to deal with 1 Chron 1:1, Hosea 6:7, Luke 3:38, 1 Cor 15:45, and Jude 14.

Is the Adam of the rest of Scripture someone other than the "figurative" Adam of Genesis 1-3? If so, what about 1 Tim 2:13-14?

Curious if anyone would have a response, or perhaps this is helpful for you to bring up to others you may know who do not believe in a literal Adam.

BTW, two posts now related to Genesis. I'm just starting a Genesis 1-11 class, and reading several books for it... so more will probably come up.