Image Of Adam, Son Of God: Genesis 5:3 And Luke 3:38 In Intercanonical Dialogue -- By: Gavin Ortlund

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 57:4 (Dec 2014)
Article: Image Of Adam, Son Of God: Genesis 5:3 And Luke 3:38 In Intercanonical Dialogue
Author: Gavin Ortlund


Image Of Adam, Son Of God: Genesis 5:3 And
Luke 3:38 In Intercanonical Dialogue

Gavin Ortlund*

* Gavin Ortlund is a Ph.D. student in historical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, 135 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91182.

I. Introduction

It has not been widely noticed that the first genealogy of the Bible begins, and the last genealogy in the Bible ends, not with any human individual, but with God. In Gen 5:1-3, God creates Adam in his image and likeness (the imago Dei), and then Adam fathers Seth in his own image and likeness (what we will call the imago Adami). In Luke 3:38, the lineage of Jesus is traced backwards to “Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God” (τοῦ θεοῦ). Seen together, these genealogies seem to suggest some kind of continuity from God · Adam · Seth, and thus, by implication, some kind of association between creating and begetting. Genesis 5:3, in particular, raises the question of an association between a father/child relationship and the imago Dei:

“When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image (בִּדְמוּתֹו כְּצַלְמֹו), and named him Seth.1

Yet so far there has been surprisingly little exploration of the import of Gen 5:3 for the meaning of the imago Dei, and almost no effort at bringing Gen 5:3 and Luke 3:38 into dialogue with each other.2

The purpose of this article is to explore Gen 5:3 and Luke 3:38 in relation to each other, and together in relation to the meaning of the imago Dei. It advances two claims: first, Gen 5:3, by comparing creating and begetting, makes a contribution to the biblical conception of the imago Dei; second, this association of creating and begetting (or “image” and “offspring”) provides a plausible explanation for the

ending of Luke 3:38. I will proceed in three steps. First, I note a general neglect of, and frequent confusion regarding, the imago Adami in Gen 5:3. Second, I explore the significance of the imago Adami in Gen 5:3 for the meanin...

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