Paul and the Historicity of Adam and Eve Peter Enns & Denis Lemoureux versus C. John Collins & D.A. Carson Where We are focusing Before I begin, Ill go ahead and reveal my own cards. I am an Old Earth Creationist who holds to a literary framework view of Genesis 1. I agree with the best science of the day that says the earth is 4 billion years old and the universe is 13 billions years old. The Creation account(s) has some historical referent in our space-time history. I think there are good reasons to believe in a historical Adam and Eve. I do not intend to discuss the whole Creation/Evolution debate. Too big of a topic for an hour Hermeneutics, theology & church history, philosophy,
science, and other fields Too big of an issue for my feeble, mental faculties Too controversial of an issue for me to ramble about Where We are focusing We will look at two theistic evolutionists handlings of the historicity of Adam and Eve in Pauline literature We will focus of the work of Peter Enns and Denis Lemoureux with responses by D.A. Carson and C. John Collins. Adam & Eve Existed. Dr.
D.A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Adam in the Epistles of Paul Dr. C. John Collins is the professor of Old Testament at Covenant Seminary. Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Adam & Eve Never Existed Peter Enns is a Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for The BioLogos
Foundation. The Evolution of Adam Denis O. Lemoureux is a professor of science and religion at St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta, Canada. Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution Introduction- Waltke Controversy Bruce Waltke, after appearing on a Biologos video discussing theistic evolution, resigned from RTS amidst an evangelical firestorm. Prof. Bruce Waltke is a preeminent Old Testament scholar,
holding doctorates from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.D.), Harvard University (Ph.D.), and Houghton College (D. Litt.). His teaching appointments at Dallas Theological Seminary, Regent College, Westminster Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, and currently at Knox Theological Seminary have earned him a reputation as a master teacher with a pastoral heart. In addition to serving on the translation committee of the NIV and TNIV and as editor of the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, Waltke has written commentaries on Genesis, Proverbs, and Micah. His latest publication, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical and Thematic Approach, earned the Christian Book Award in 2008. Introduction- What he said If the data is overwhelmingly in
favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cultsome odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting Gods Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness. His statements were conditional Introduction-What is Theistic Evolution? What is theistic evolution? The best harmonious synthesis of the special revelation of the Bible, of
the general revelation of human nature that distinguishes between right and wrong and consciously or unconsciously craves God, and of science is the theory of theistic evolution. By theory, I mean here a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for the origin of species, especially Adam, not a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural. By theistic evolution I mean that the God of Israel, to bring glory to himself, (1) created all the things that are out of nothing and sustains them; (2) incredibly, against the laws of probability, finely tuned the essential properties of the universe to produce Adam, who is capable of reflecting upon their origins; (3) within his providence allowed the process of natural selection and of cataclysmic interventions-such as the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs, enabling mammals to dominate the earth-to produce aweinspiring creatures, especially Adam; (4) by direct creation made Adam a spiritual being, an image of divine beings, for fellowship with himself by faith; (5) allowed Adam to freely choose to follow their primitive animal nature and to usurp the rule of God instead of living by faith in God, losing fellowship with their physical and spiritual Creator; (6) and in his mercy chose from fallen Adam the Israel of God, whom he regenerated by the Holy Spirit, in connection with their faith in Jesus
Christ, the Second Adam, for fellowship with himself. Bruce Waltke, An Introduction Dr. Waltkes resignation brought Biologos & the theistic evolution controversy to the forefront of the evangelical community. Since then, numerous books have come out on the subject. The center of the evolution debate has shifted from asking whether we came from earlier animals to whether we could have come from one man and one woman. Introduction Denis
Lemoureuxs and Peter Enns works serve as an apologetic endeavor to accommodate the findings of science with the truths of inspired Scripture. In the process, many evangelical leaders, scholars, and theologians have said theyve gone too far and have compromised on a key doctrine. Both Agree on Paul in One Sense Paul believed that Adam
and Eve really existed. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul "My central conclusion in this book is clear: Adam never existed and this fact has no impact whatsoever on the foundational beliefs of Christianity." Evolutionary Creation What is essential to Christianity? God created humans Humans bear the image of God Humans are sinful God judges humanity for sin Jesus died for humans Salvation is found through Jesus Christ alone
Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Evolutionary creation claims that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the universe and life through an ordained, sustained, and design-reflecting evolutionary process. Evolution is intelligently designed to bring about what God wants. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Dr. Lemoureux rejects scientific concordism. Scientific concordism is the
assumption that God revealed scientific facts in the Bible thousands of years before their discovery in modern history. He rejects this notion because of the presence of a three-tier universe in the Bible. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Genesis 1 and the firmament or expanse. They thought it was a hard dome because it appeared that way. All ANE cultures believed this idea. God
places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament because it appears that way. It is an ancient understanding of the physical world. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Other biblical passages Acts 4:12 "Under heaven" This reflects a three tier universe Phil. 2:10-11 "in heavenon earthand in the underworld" This passage uses an ancient understanding of the entire
universe that is three-tiered. Gen. 1:7 Waters under the earth Ancients would travel in all directions and would eventually come to a body of water. It made perfect sense to assume they were surrounded by a body of water. This is where we get the phrase "ends of the earth." Ends of the earth Isa. 41:8 Jesus himself uses this same ancient mindset of the day in Matt. 12:42 Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Is concordism true? We find an ancient understanding of the physical world.
What we find in scripture does not align with the scientific facts. Did God lie? No. Lying requires deception and malice. God simply accommodates himself. The Holy Spirit descended to the level of ancient humans and used their ideas (Ancient Science) in order to reveal messages of faith. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Creation in Genesis 1 We find an ancient understanding of the creation of the world.
De novo Creation Creation that is brand new. Quick and complete origin of life. Things are made quickly and fully formed. This is the origins science of the world. This is the best understanding for the ancient peoples. Message-incident principle We find a message in Scripture that is timeless, good truth that is carried by the vessel of an ancient understanding of an incident. We find the message amidst ancient understandings of things. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul
Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Biology in the Bible Implication of the three-tier universe If the astronomy is ancient If the geology is ancient Is the biology not ancient? This is a consistency argument. Ancient biology in Scripture The creation of life is mentioned to be "according to their kinds" in the Creation accounts ten times. This is an ancient phenomenological perspective of the ancients.
Cows make cows Sheep make sheep Birds make birds People make people This is the taxonomy-of-the-day. Implication? The ancients would have asked is "where do humans come from?" Retrojection Taking present experience and casting it back in time to explain the past. Denis Lemoureuxs Paul Adam? A human gives birth to a human who gives birth to another human and so on and so forth. Origins implication: Adam is the retrojection of the ancients. This is an ancient biology of origins. Adam is an extension of
adding people all the way back to the first "humans." Adam is simply a retrojective conclusion (de novo creation according to their kinds) of an ancient taxonomy, which is based on an ancient phenomenological perspective of biology. Adam is an incidental vessel that delivers inerrant foundations of the Christian faith to remind us: We are created in the Image of God, we are sinful, and God judges us for our sins. Though Adam never existed, he is the prototype of the human spiritual condition. In order to understand our existence, we must see ourselves in himAdam is you and me. Adam = three tiers Adam was never created de nova like the Scriptures say. Rebuttals to Dr. Lemoureuxs Paul 1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. Anticoncordism, which tends to reject concordism out of hand, is not the only alternative. Anti-concordism, as applied to Genesis, tends to assume that the Biblical account has little or no historical referent. He assumes historical or scientific concordism requires literalism. He assumes a timeless message can be abstracted from a story. He assumes that Pauls argument is not somehow contingent upon facts of history. Some of the statements could be poetic. He assumes a level of ethnocentrism. Peter Enns Paul
"The conversation between Christianity and evolution would be far less stressful for some if it were not for the prominent role that Adam plays in two of Paul's lettersIn these passages Paul seems to regard Adam as the first human being and ancestor of everyone who lived. This is a particularly vital point in Romans, where Paul regards Adam's disobedience as the cause of universal sin and death from which humanity is redeemed through the obedience of Christ. Many Christians, however creative they might be willing to be interpreting Genesis, stop dead in their tracks when they see how Paul handles Adam. 79 Paul really does believe this fact he is discussing in Romans and First Corinthians. What Paul has to say is not based upon the OT. Pauls Adam and the OT
Adam is relatively absent from the Old Testament story. From a Christian point of view, we talk about Genesis 3 as a turning point. We call it "the Fall." This is not a major turning point within the Hebrew bible. Outside of genealogies within Chronicles, Adam is never really brought up too much. The Fall isn't seen as a cause of anything really. We assume that depravity comes from the fall. The text does not blame Adam like Paul does. Pauls Adam and the OT If Adam's disobedience lies at the root of
universal sin and death, why does the Old Testament never once specifically refer to Adam this way? Adam is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 1:1. Hosea 6:7 should not be viewed as referring to Adam as person's name. It should be viewed as a place's name. Hosea is not concerned with the sin of all humanity. He is concerned with Israel's failure to repent. Adam is the first of three places listed where Israel failed to repent (Gilead and Shechem in vv. 8-9). Hosea 6:7 is not a brief allusion to the fall of man. Pauls Adam and the OT Adam's punishment from God listed in Genesis 3:17-18 does not mention his posterity would be born in a state of sinfulness from which all efforts to eradicate oneself are
in vain. Cain's disobedience is not causally linked with Adam's disobedience. Noah would be exempt from Adam's sinfulness that is passed down because he is described as "a righteous man, blameless in his generation. (6:9)" Why is Adam's disobedience not causally linked to the flood? Israel is given a choice whether or not to obey God's law- much like Adam and Cain. The choice offered to Adam and Cain is the same choice later offered to Israel: obedience yields blessing and disobedience yields cursing. The Old Testament does not tie Israel's disobedience, or that of humanity at large, to Adam's one act of disobedience. Pauls Adam and the OT Paul's use of Genesis is clearly rooted in something
else other than a simple reading of the story. Paul's view of the depth of universal, inescapable human alienation from God is completely true, but it is also beyond what is articulated in the OT in general or Genesis specifically. We read Genesis like we do because of the influence of Augustine in the Western Church. Humanity's state was transformed because of Adam and Eve's transgression. The depraved and guilty nature of the first couple was passed onto their offspring and all of the rest of humanity. All of humanity was in some sense present in Adam's actions and disobedience Pauls Adam and the OT We do not have to read it like this. The Eastern Church, following Irenaeus of Lyons, sees the
story from a different angle. The garden story is not about a descent from a pristine, untainted original state of humanity. Rather, it tells the story of navet and immaturity on the part of Adam and Eve and the loss of childlike innocence in an illicit move to grasp at a good thing, wisdom, represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve are like children placed in a paradise, where they are to learn to serve God and grow in wisdom and maturity, to move to spiritual perfection. Pauls Adam and the OT The story is about the how (how wisdom is obtained) knowledge is to be pursued. Knowing the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, is desirable. This is found in Israel's wisdom
literature. Becoming like God in knowing good and evil is precisely what God wants for Adam and Eve. The issue is not the knowledge should be avoided lest one claim to be like God. The problem is the illicit way in which Eve tries to attain wisdom- quickly, prematurely, impatiently. A wisdom reading of Genesis 3 does not address, and so in no way negates, the universal and inescapable reality of sin and death and the need for a savior to die and rise. Paul as an Ancient Interpreter Although Paul's gospel was fresh, radical, and counterintuitive to both Jew and Gentile alike, Paul was an ancient man and naturally held widely accepted views on a
good number of things. Paul had a cultural context. Paul believed in a three-tiered universe (Phil. 2:10-11; 2 Cor. 12:2). Paul's world did not include the Western hemisphere or the arctic poles; reproductive barrenness is solely the woman's fault; the world was created by a discreet act of God in relatively recent history, not through an evolutionary process over millions or billions of years (Paul would not have a category for the astronomical numbers we casually toss about). Just because Pauls access to knowledge about the origins led him to use the language he did to make a theological claim, that does not mean we need to accept the scientific accuracy of his statements in order to agree with his theological conclusion. Paul does not have to be right scientifically for us to agree with him theologically. Paul as an Ancient
Interpreter Pauls handling of his Scripture is marked throughout by a creative engagement of his tradition. That creativity stems from two factors: (1) the Jewish climate of his day, likewise marked by imaginative ways of handling Scripture; and (2) Pauls uncompromising Christ-centered focus. In other words, Pauls understanding of the Adam story is influenced both by the interpretive conventions of Second Temple Judaism in general and by his wholly reorienting experience of the risen Christ. Paul is not doing straight exegesis of the Adam story. Rather, he subordinates that story to the present, higher reality of the risen Son of God,
Paul as an Ancient Interpreter By the time Jesus came on the scene, Jews had already been steeped in several hundred years of careful reflection on their own now sacred and inscripturated story. This process already began within the pages of the OT itself, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "inner biblical interpretation," where Israel's latter literature shows evidence of transforming its older texts in view of changing circumstances (Chronicles). During this time, the Qumran community was writing books, the Pseudepigrapha and OT apocrypha was written, and the Hebrew scriptures were translated into other languages. There was tremendous literary output by faithful Jews
in trying to come to grips with how their scriptures and current events intersected. The NT was written amid this flurry of interpretive output. Paul as an Ancient Interpreter There are various "Adams" of Jewish Interpreters that do not agree with Paul's unique view. The Wisdom of Solomon refers to Adam as one who was "delivered from his transgressions" (10:1). Adam was a master of all things, but transgressed God's command. Adam is presented as some sort of victim of the death that entered the world "through the devil's envy," not through Adam's disobedience (2:23-24). Ecclesiasticus talks about Adam being formed from the dust, but there is no mention of a fall or sinful nature inherited by his offspring (17:1-14; 33:10). Sirach places the blame not on Adam for the misery of all humanity
but solely on Eve (25:24 [1 Tim. 2:14?]). In the book of Jubilees, Adam is a priestly figure who actually offers sacrifices for his own transgressions. In On the Creation of the World, Philo understands Adam to have been made perfect and immortal, fully possessing the image of God (134-135). The further the human race extends from him, the less of the image they posses (141). Paul as an Ancient Interpreter Paul's Adam is an example of the rich interpretive activity, where Adam is called upon to address various theological concerns. Paul's handling of Adam is hermeneutically no different from what others were doing at the time:
appropriating an ancient story to address pressing concerns of the moment. Paul as an Ancient Interpreter Paul does not use the OT with exact precision of the original context. The crucifixion and resurrection changes how he interprets his Bible. The text is not the master; it serves a goal- the absolute and uncompromised centrality of what God has done here and now in the crucified and risen Christ. 2 Cor. 6:2 and Isaiah 49:8 The "seed" in Gal. 3:16,29 Gal. 3:11 and Hab. 2:4 Rom. 11:26-27 and Isa. 59:20
Rom. 4 and Gen. 15:6 Paul as an Ancient Interpreter Paul had an interpreted Bible. How Paul understood the OT was affected by interpretive traditions that were older than Paul but shaped his thinking more subtly. 2 Tim. 3:8 mentions Jannes and Jambres, the magicians in Pharaoh's court during Moses' day. Gal. 3:19 mentioned the law being mediated by angels. 1 Cor. 10:4 mentions a moving well that followed the Israelites' during the desert experience. We cannot and should not assume that what Paul
says about Adam is necessarily what Genesis was written to convey. Paul was an ancient man with ancient thoughts, inspired though he was. Pauls Adam Paul's Adam: The historical first man, responsible for universal sin and death. Adam is a vital theological and historical figure for Paul. But, Adam is also typological and symbolic in Paul (Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:44-49). What makes Paul difficult to read for us today. All the extrabiblical factors mentioned earlier. We do not know the full context of the situations. They original hearers know something we lack. There are grammatical challenges to reading Paul. His thoughts tend to come with such a flurry of energy and passion that his pen can hardly keep up with his
heart and head. He is not as logical, systematic, and clinical as he is made out to be. Pauls Adam The reason Paul uses Adam the way he does reflects his Christ-centered handling of the OT in general. Paul's understanding of Adam is shaped by Jesus, not the other way around. The uncompromising reality of who Jesus is and what he did to conquer the objectively true realties of sin and death do not DEPEND on Paul's understanding of Adam as a historical person. Pauls Adam
We can leave behind the cause of sin with leaving behind the fact of sinfulness. There are three core elements that remain: The universal and self-evident problem of death. The universal and self-evident problem of sin. The historical event of the death and resurrection of Christ. What we lose: Paul's cultural answer to how those things came about. We can hold to a "sin of origin" without believing in Augustine's doctrine of "original sin." The former is the absolute inevitability of sin that affects every human being from their beginnings, from birth.
Pauls Adam Paul's goal is to show that what binds these two utterly distinct groups together is their equal participation in a universal humanity marked by sin and death and their shared need of the same universally offered redemption. Paul's Adam serves that role. Everything else is subservient to that goal. The New Perspective gets Paul's thinking right. Paul is combating covenantal nomism within his letters, doing the law out of gratitude to stay in the covenant. The Jews did not think of themselves as earning God's favor through the observation of the Law. The law and other Jewish markers "kept them" in the covenant community. Pauls Adam
Paul is saying that the Gentiles do not have to become Jewish to stay in the covenant community. The resurrection of the Son of God is a game changer; gentiles can now be part of the covenant as gentiles. Paul pushes Adam to the forefront in a brand new way to address the problem of sin and death, a problem the resurrection defeated. Any attempt to retain the old distinctions the resurrection did away with are met with the full arsenal of Paul's rhetorical skills, passionate personality, and theological insights. Rebuttals to Dr. Enns Paul 1. 2.
3. 4. 5. 6. He ignores the OTs use of the Adam story in other pericopes. He does not consider other Second Temple Literature concerning Pauls issue of where sin originated. He assumes because of his commitment to the New Perspective that Pauls arguments do not depend on a historical Adam. He abuses Irenaeus of Lyons account. His viewpoint concerning how the apostles used the OT is not the only way to interact with those texts. His view of inspiration may place undue emphasis
on human frailty. 1-Adam in the OT Forest and the Trees Problem: How does our perception of the big picture (the forest) interact with our interpretations of the text (the trees)? There are several difficulties with this claim: the first is, what exactly constitutes a "citation," presumption, or echo? Does an allusion to any part of Genesis 1-5 count as one of the echoes? Does not the presence or absence of allusions depend on the communicative intentions of the writers? The later writer may or may not find an echo of this passage useful to what he is trying to do in a later text-which means the perceived rarity of citation hardly implies that this story has no bearing on the rest of the Hebrew Bible.
1-Adam in the OT Narrative rarely tells the reader what the he or she should believe outright. Rather, it shows one the consequences and ends of actions and decisions within the flow of the plotline. We do not need a statement from the writer that Adams disobedience affects all people who follow him because the text shows this fact. Cranfield says (Original Sin) is a natural inference drawn from the Genesis narrative and surely its intention. Peter Enns reverses the prototype of seeing Adam as representational of Israel instead of seeing Israel as representational of Adam. Adam and Eve, as persons in covenant with God who disobey the LORD, become types or symbols of divine will and intention throughout Torah and the rest of the OT. N.T. Wright in his The New Testament and the People of God says that "If Abraham and his family are understood as the Creator's
means of dealing with the sin of Adam, and hence the evil in the world, Israel herself becomes to the true Adamic humanity 1-Adam in the OT Commands issued to Adam are given to Abraham and others (1:28; 12:2; 17:2,6,8; 22:16). The "blessing" idea is explicit in 12:2-3 and is combined with being fruitful and multiplying in 17:20; 22:17-18;26:3-4; 28:3: these echo God's blessings upon the original pair (1:28). The idea of "offspring" and "seed" ties the rest of Genesis with the first eleven chapters (3:15; 4:25; 12:7; 13:15-16; 17:7-9).
Abraham, Abel, Noah, and Israel mirrors Adam by building altars to sacrifice to the LORD. Israel is to be a nation of priests over God's earth much like Adam and Eve were priests and vice-regents over the earth (Exo. 19). The prophets call Israel to be the people through whom the LORD will act in relation to the whole world. Outside of Genesis 1-5, explicit references to Eden as a prototypical place of fruitfulness occur in Gen.13:10; Isa. 51:3;Joel 2:3, and Ezek. 28:13; 31:8-9; 36:35.
Adam is mentioned in the genealogy of 1 Chronicles 1 as-well-as the genealogies in the earlier chapters of Genesis and Luke (3:38). The tree of life receives further mention in the OT & NT (Prov. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4; Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19). Numerous passages refer back to creation (Psa. 8; 104) Human rest on the Sabbath imitates God's rest after his work on creation (Exo. 20:11, echoing 2:2-3). 1-Adam in the OT
Hosea 6:7 is disputed but good reasons exist to translate the verse as But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me. Ecclesiastes 7:29 may be an echo of the Fall. See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes. [many schemes 7:20?] Job 31:33 could be an allusion. if I have concealed my transgressions as others do (margin: As Adam did) by hiding my iniquity in my bosom. 2-Second Temple Literature on Adam Various
Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal texts link Adams disobedience with a universal punishment of death. Apocalypse of Moses-Adam said to Eve, Why have you wrought destruction among us and brought upon us great wrath, which is death gaining rule over all our race? (14:2) 4 Ezra- Ezra speaking to God says: And you laid upon him one commandment of yours; but he transgressed it, and immediately you appointed death for him and his descendants. (3:7) 2-Second Temple Literature on Adam 2 Baruch-When Adam sinned and death was decreed against those who were to be born, the
multitude of those who would be born was numbered. (23:4) 2 Baruch- Adam sinned first and brought death upon all who were not in his own time. (54:15) For when he transgressed, untimely death came into being. . . (56:6). 4 Ezra 7:118-199- O Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendants. For what good is it to us, if an immortal time has been promised to us, but we have done deeds that bring death? 2-Other Mentions of Adam Jesus refers to Adam or the events of creation in some historical sense. Matt. 19:4-5 He answered, "Have you not read that he who
created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:7)'? Matt. 23:35- so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel (Gen. 4:8) to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. (Luke 11:51) John 8:44- You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (Wisdom of Solomon 2:24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.) 3-Pauls Arguments and Adam Genesis
1-3 is mentioned in passing by Paul in 1 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Cor 11:3; and 1 Tim. 2:13-14. Although there is no reason to doubt that these references share the usual assumption of Second Temple Jews that Adam and Eve were historical, it is not easy to insist that the argument depends on this assumption for its validity. Not only must we conclude that Paul himself believed in the historicity of Adam, but that the structure of his argument requires the historicity of Adam. In other words, for Paul Adam is more than an optional extra, a mythological accretion which may be excised without loss. Far from it; Paul so tightly relates the saving crosswork of Christ to the significance of historical Adam that it is difficult to see how one can preserve the former if the latter is jettisoned. Carson 3-Pauls Arguments and Adam Enns work shows a sense of scholarly arrogance.
The traditional view concerning the message of Romans is Paul confessed his sin and inability to save himself and accepted Jesus as his savior, and led others to do likewise. The Protestant reading of Paul reflects medieval theological debates, not Paul or the Judaism of his time. Romans is often read within Protestantism as a tract for how an individual can get saved; we are justified by grace through faith, not by works Getting saved may be part of the application of Romans, but if one makes it the whole message, much of Pauls argument will be missed. 3-Pauls Arguments: Romans 5 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-- for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (Rom. 5:12-14) 3-Pauls Arguments: Romans 5 Paul's reference to the time period from Adam to Moses (5:13-14) certainly presupposes a historical figure (i.e. Adam) at the beginning of the period, corresponding to a historical figure at the end of the period (Moses). Moreover, this period in world history is not simply an abstract, bounded, temporal entity---we are not dealing with a "time" in the abstract; rather, this period is portrayed
as a time during which (a) the "law" (of Moses) had not yet been given; (b) sin was in the world; and (c) death reigned. This threefold description can only refer to the Old Testament period stretching from the fall of Adam to the giving of the law to Moses; and it treats the period as real history inasmuch as all die within it. Not only does Rom. 5:12-14 lay considerable emphasis on the one sin, one trespass, or one act of disobedience which brought ruin to the race; but implicitly the argument depends on the notion that before that one act of disobedience there was no sin in the race. This accords very well with Gen. 1-3; it cannot be made to cohere with any evolutionary perspective which denies the centrality of a fall in space-time history. 3-Pauls Arguments: Romans 5 Adam is portrayed as the "type" (tupos, NIV "pattern," 5:14) of one to come. The relationship between type and antitype in the Scriptures is complex; but Ellis correctly insists that New Testament typology cannot
be thought of apart from God's saving activity in redemptive history, as determined by God's definite plan of redemption which is moving toward a predetermined goal from a specific point of beginning. As Versteeg comments, "Thus a type always stands at a particular moment in the history of redemption and points away to another (later) moment in the same history. . . . To speak about a type is to speak about the fulfillment of the old dispensation through the new." Adam is not portrayed as the first sinner, of which other sinners are later copies; but as the representative sinner, whose first sin affected the race. This distinction is crucial if the parallel between Adam and Jesus is to be maintained; for Jesus is certainly not portrayed as the first man to perform some definitive righteous act, but as the representative man whose definitive righteous act affects those who are in him. Preserve this parallel between Adam and Christ, and the historicity of Adam cannot simply be pro forma, as far as Paul is concerned. 3-Pauls Arguments: Romans 5 The
argument is a narratival one: an event that happened in the past (as in, one mans trespass, one mans sin, one trespass, one mans disobedience) had consequences (many died), even from Adam to Moses (another character in the story), that is, before the law of Moses. Verse 17 is explicit: Because of one mans trespass, death reigned through one man. These events were followed by what Jesus achieved (one act of righteousness, one mans obedience), both in his death and resurrection. 3-Pauls Arguments:1 Corinthians 15:20-27 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a
man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 3-Pauls Arguments:1 Corinthians 15:20-27 The point of the argument is not simply that
Christ has introduced a new historical factor into the status quo of universal sin , but that just as all death can trace its roots back to one man, so all resurrection from the dead can trace its roots back to one man. Contextually, Paul 's argument for the resurrection of Christ's people depends on the resurrection of Christ; and the structure of this resurrection argument depends on the parallel structure, VIZ: that all participate in death because of the introduction by Adam of death as a kind of firstfruits. The argument of the context requires an individual at the head of both lines the line of death and the line of the resurrection of the dead. 3-Pauls Arguments:1 Corinthians 15:20-27 Similarly, explicit mention of Adam in v.22 argues for a
historical person. It does not help to point out that Adam in Hebrew means man, for (a) even in the Hebrew Old Testament, one can usually distinguish in Gen. 1-3 between Adam qua man (generically) and Adam qua first Individual man: (b) the New Testament was written in Greek, not Hebrew; and so if Paul had wanted to say man generically he would have been better off using Greek anthr6pos, rather than referring to the name of the first human being, a name which Greek-speaking Gentiles in Corinth would certainly recognize as belonging to the first human being ; (c) the parallel between 'Adam ' and 'Christ', two individuals, needs to be preserved as much in this verse as in the preceding one. The reference to death as the last enemy to be destroyed (v.26)almost certainly casts a backward glance at the Introduction of death into the race effected by the disobedience of our first parent (Gen. 3) . 3-Pauls Arguments:1 Corinthians 15:20-27
The first part of v.27 (,For he "has put everything under his feet." ') is a direct quote from Ps. 8 :6, which in turn reflects the creation narrative of Gen . 1:26- 30. In both Gen. 1 and Ps. 8, it is man who is vested with authority over all things. But Paul, like the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (2 :5ff), applies the language to Christ as the last Adam, who retrieves the situation lost by the first Adam.!" This backward glance is entirely lost if Paul is unconcerned about the historicity of Adam, and the historical reality of man's pre-fall condition. 3-Pauls Arguments: 1 Corinthians 15:44-49 It
is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 3-Pauls Arguments: 1 Corinthians 15:44-49
When Paul in 15:45a cites Gen. 2:7, he inserts the words first and Adam. These additions make it clear that Paul does not intend to refer to man generally, but to one specific man, the first one, Adam by name. It is on this basis that Paul can refer to a second man, a last Adam, as an individual figure. The argument is greatly weakened if the first Adam may be construed as a reference to all humanity; for the last Adam must be an individual and not a reference to the new humanity, since the last Adam has become a life-giving (not a life-receiving) spirit. Only about Jesus Christ, the individual Jesus Christ, could this be said. Moreover, Paul says that "we have borne the likeness of the earthly man" (15:49), not that we are the earthly man; and in the same way we shall bear the likeness of the man from heaven, which clearly cannot mean we are the man from heaven. The language is reminiscent of the "in Adam"/"in Christ" contrast of 15:21. Clearly, neither Adam nor Christ is here presented in a purely private capacity. Both function as representative heads, the one of the earthly humanity, the other of the heavenly humanity; and it is difficult to perceive exactly what Paul could be saying if this parallelism is destroyed. The cogency of his argument for a resurrection body of a nature like Christ's resurrection body is destroyed if there is no representative entailment from
Christ to us; and there is no reason to think such entailment must exist unless the historical representative entailment from Adam to us also exists. 3-Pauls Arguments: 1 Corinthians 15:44-49 We may put this in a slightly different fashion. As Ridderbos writes, "The anthropological contrast is anchored in the redemptive-historical." The "natural" mode of existence which springs from participation in Adam is succeeded by the "spiritual" mode of existence which springs from participation in Christ. But Christ in this passage appears not as an atemporal parallel to Adam, but as the later figure, the eschatological figure, the antitypical figure, the figure who comes in fulfillment. Such categories are meaningful only if the first figure is a figure in history. One cannot fail to be reminded of the argument of 2 Peter 3:1-7. There we are told that those who scoff at the prospect of the second coming have two historical examples of God's cataclysmic intervention to stand as witnesses to what God can do---viz, the creation and the flood. But to a generation which disbelieves heartily in both of these historical events
which God has designed at least in part to serve as pointers to the far greater cataclysm of the second coming, what can we possibly offer by way of assurance that Christ's coming will not be forever delayed? In the same way, we may ask ourselves: To a generation which disbelieves in the historicity of the individual Adam who stands as representative of the race and who introduced both death and a certain kind of body into that race, a man designed by God to serve, at least in part, as a pointer to the second Adam who brings a new, "spiritual" body and escape from death, what can we possibly offer by way of assurance that there is reality to these promises and not just pious talk? 3-Pauls Arguments: Acts 17:2631 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is
actually not far from each one of us, for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." 3-Pauls Arguments: Acts 17:2631 The Athenians prided themselves in [the fact] that they were sprung from the soil of their native Attica. The Greeks considered themselves superior to non-Greeks. Against such claims of racial
superiority Paul asserts the unity of all men. The unity of the human race as descended from Adam is fundamental in Pauls theology. F.F. Bruce The making of all kinds of people from one person is an historical statement, which grounds the universal invitation- an invitation that itself is established by an event (the resurrection), in the light of a sure-to-come future event (day of judgment). Collins 4-Irenaeus of Lyons For the most partthey (the Greek Fathers) are rehearsing the clichs of catechetical instruction, so that what they say smacks more of affirmation than explanation. While taking it for granted that men are sinful, ignorant and in need of true life, they never attempt to account for their wicked plight. J. N.D. Kelley
It was a natural consequence of this polemic attitude towards Gnosticism, that the anthropology of the 2d and 3d centuries of both the Western and the Eastern Church was marked by a very strong emphasis of the doctrine of human freedom. At a time when the truth that man is a responsible agent was being denied by the most subtle opponents which the Christian theologian of the first centuries was called to meet, it was not to be expected that very much reflection would be expended upon that side of the subject of sin which relates to the weakness and bondage of the apostate will. The Gnostic asserted that man was created sinful, and that he had no free will. The Ancient Father contented himself with rebutting these statements, without much reference to the consequences of human apostasy in the moral agent, and the 4-Irenaeus of Lyons
According to Irenaeus, the first humans were created morally innocent, their innocence being more like that of a child than of a full adult. Gods goal was for them to mature into moral confirmation, but the fall interrupted the process. Collins They (Augustine and Irenaeus) both agree that the sin of Adam and Eve does have an effect, which presupposes our actual descent from this original pair. Collins 4-Irenaeus of Lyons Though God intended the immature Adam and Eve to grow into maturity, this process was interrupted by the Fall. Because Adam
was not yet mature, in his weakness and inexperience, Adam chose to listen to Satan and disobey God. Thus, humanity lost the divine likeness, that is, the endowment of the Spirit, and fell into the grasp of Satan. Adam's sin was disobedience to God, but this disobedience held important consequences for Adam's progeny. This first instance of disobedience led to the sinfulness of the whole race. He also believed that all of humanity shares in Adam's deed and therefore they also share in his guilt. Though Irenaeus never defines how this takes place, he must hold that there is some kind of mystical solidarity within the human race. J.N. D. Kelley through the disobedience of that one man who was first formed out of the untilled earth, the many were made sinners and lost life. Against Heresies 3, 18, 7 In the first Adam, we offended God, not fulfilling his commandmentto him alone were we debtors, whose ordinance we transgressed in the beginning. Against Heresies 5, 16, 3 In Adam disobedient man was stricken Against Heresies 5, 34, 2 5-Other Ways of Handling the OT
Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) by Peter Enns and Kenneth Berding Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament by D.A. Carson and G. K. Beale 6-Inspiration and Incarnation His arguments are built upon his incarnational model of inspiration. As Christ is both God and human, so is the
BibleChrists incarnation is analogous to Scriptures incarnation.The human dimension of Scripture is, therefore, part of what makes Scripture Scripture. But it is precisely this dimension that can create problems for modern Christian readers, because it can make the Bible seem less unique, less Bible-like, than we might have supposed. Good reasons exist to still hold to the orthodox view of inspiration. What We Might Lose The grand narrative of Scripture is somewhat different. What We Might Lose The
reliability of Paul may be subtly undermined. What future parts of Paul's arguments are the result of his ancient mindset and thus nullified because "we moved on?" What do we do with the other Biblical writers on Adam? What other portions of Scriptural history, ethics, and general doctrine are the mere thoughts of ancient, unlearned people? Where does human dignity and objective value apart from ones relation to their socio-cultural community derive itself from? Closing Admonitions I
recommend the works of D.A. Carson, Peter Enns, and C. John Collins. Possible reviews should be in the works. We should be loving in our treatment of brothers and sister who hold different viewpoints yet sharp in our defense of the truth. Let us proceed with intellectual humility, Christ-exalting attitude, and scholarly engagement regarding the issues surrounding Gods creation.