Saturday, April 17, 2010

Article: Was Adam an historical person?

What are the implications for denying the historicity of Adam and the first eleven chapters of Genesis? In this article, Bob Strimple tells us what they are and thus why it is important to hold to the historicity of Adam and the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

Does the Bible present Adam as an historical person, a man who actually lived at a certain point in history, the very first man and the father of all the members of the human race who followed after him? And if so, what is the theological significance of that fact? Or, to put it another way, what would be the theological consequences of denying the historicity of Adam?

And Strimple concludes:

Despite the great difference between Adam and Christ, Paul points to the all-important redemptive-historical analogy between them. Paul sums up all of God's dealings with men under two great Representative Heads: Adam and Christ. As he says in I Corinthians 15, there is none before Adam, for Adam is the first man. And in terms of covenantal Headship there is none between Adam and Christ, for Christ is the second man. And there is none after Christ, for Christ is the last man. Adam and Christ sustain unique relationships to men. In each case the covenant response of the Representative Head, whether of disobedience or of obedience, is not merely illustrative of the condition of those in union with him but determinative of the condition of those in union with him.

If Adam is merely a symbol that stands for the truth about us, then perhaps Christ is merely another symbol that stands for another truth about us.


... If the historicity of the first Adam is considered irrelevant to us, why then should the historicity of the second Adam not also be irrelevant to us?

To conclude: Our understanding of the reality of Adam affects our understanding of sin, of redemption, and of the Redeemer. The one who rejects the Biblical teaching regarding the historical Adam and the historical Fall will find no firm basis for accepting the Biblical teaching regarding the historical, Incarnate Redeemer.

[HT: Heidelblog]

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