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Adam

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The Oxford Companion to the Bible What is This? Provides authoritative interpretive entries on Biblical people, places, beliefs, events, and secular influences.

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    Adam

    Adam (possibly meaning “ruddy” or “earth”) is the common noun in Hebrew for “human(‐kind)”; only in Genesis 1–5 (when used without the article) and 1 Chronicles 1.1 is it the proper name for the first man. This usage highlights the unity of humankind, leaving no special apartness for Israel or Abraham. The stylized Priestly (P) account of the creation of humans in Genesis 1.26 and more anthropomorphic narrative of the Yahwist (J) in Genesis 2.7 neither disprove nor suggest (the) Adam's origin by evolution, a question that simply did not arise. God's image is in “the man” in Genesis 1.26, as “the man's” in turn is in Seth (Gen. 5.3; but cf. the different perspective in 1 Cor. 11.7). Normal human toil and death as a punishment for (the) Adam's sin is the focus in Genesis 3 rather than either its propagation or the “protoevangelium.” In the New Testament, Adam is chiefly a type of Christ (Rom. 5.14; cf. “last Adam,” 1 Cor. 15.45) in relation to release by resurrection from an original sin (1 Cor. 15.22, 45), perhaps taking up Adam as the ideal man (Sir. 49.16; Wisd. of Sol. 10.1).

    See also Eve; Fall, The; Genesis, The Book of

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    Robert North

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