Adam And Eve In The Old Testament -- By: C. John Collins

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 15:1 (Spring 2011)
Article: Adam And Eve In The Old Testament
Author: C. John Collins

Adam And Eve In The Old Testament

C. John Collins

C. John Collins is Professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Dr. Collins received his Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool. He is the author of a number of books, including Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary (P&R, 2006), Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? (Crossway, 2003), and Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Who They Were and Why You Should Care (Crossway, 2011).

Traditionally Christians, like the Jews from whom they arose, have read the story of Adam and Eve in the opening chapters of the Bible as describing the first human beings, from whom all other humans descend. They have also taken the account of the “disobedience” in Genesis 3 as narrating the origin of all human sin: that is, these readers have supposed that God first made humans morally innocent, and that the events of Genesis 3 transformed the moral condition of Adam and Eve, and thus of all mankind after them.1

At first glance, it may seem that “Adam and Eve” as significant persons do in fact play only a very small role in the whole Hebrew Bible (as distinct from the Apocrypha and New Testament). Victor Hamilton observed:

Apart from its uses in Gen 1-5, the only other unambiguous occurrences of the proper name “Adam” in the OT is 1 Chron 1:1. It may occur in Deut 32:8; Job 31:33; Hos 6:7. This is surprising, given the fact that OT literature does not hesitate to recall early heroes of Israel’s past such as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, and thus link the past with the present in one corporate continuum.... Unlike the OT, intertestamental literature and the NT have numerous references to Adam. For the former, compare Sir 17:1; 49:16; Tob 8:6; Wisd 2:23; 9:2. For the latter, compare Luke 3:38; Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 11:12; 15:22, 45-49; 1 Tim 2:13-14.You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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