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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The study of the origins, behavior and development of humans; -- sometimes used in a limited sense to mean the study of man as an object of natural history, or as an animal.

2. (n.) That manner of expression by which the inspired writers attribute human parts and passions to God.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia







1. Darwinism

2. Difficulties

3. Objections

4. The New Evolutionism

5. Evolution and Genesis



Under this heading is grouped whatever the Bible has to say regarding man's origin, nature, destiny and kindred topics. No systematized doctrine concerning man is found in Scripture; but the great facts about human nature and its elements are presented in the Bible in popular language and not in that of the schools. Delitzsch has well said: "There is a clearly defined psychology essentially proper to Holy Scripture, which underlies all the Biblical writers, and intrinsically differs from that many formed psychology which lies outside the circle of revelation.. We do not need first of all to force the Biblical teaching: it is one in itself" (Biblical Psychology, 17, 18). What is said of the psychology of Scripture may with good reason be applied to its anthropology.

I. Terms Employed.

Several words are used in the Old Testament for our word "Man."

1. 'Adham:

'adham, either as the name of the first man, (compare Luke 3:38 Romans 5:14 1 Corinthians 15:45); or as an appellative-the man; or, as the generic name of the human race (Septuagint: anthropos; Vulgate: homo). The origin of the name is obscure. In Genesis 2:7 Adam is connected with 'adhamah, from the earthly part of man's nature (dust out of the 'adhamah), as the earth-born one. The derivation of Adam from 'adhamah, however, is disputed-among others by Dillmann: "Sprachlich lasst sich die Ableitung aus Adamah nicht vertheidigen" (Genesis, 53). Delitzsch refers to Josephus (Ant., I, i, 2), who maintained that Adam really meant purrhos ("red as fire"), in reference to the redness of the earth, out of which man was formed. "He means," adds Delitzsch, "the wonderfully fruitful and aromatic red earth of the Hauran chum of mountains, which is esteemed of marvelously strong and healing power, and which is believed to be self-rejuvenescent" (N. Commentary on Genesis, 118). The connection with Edom in Genesis 25:30 may perhaps point in the same direction. A connection has also been sought with the Assyrian admu ("child"), especially the young of the bird, in the sense of making or producing (Delitzsch; Oxford Dictionary); while Dillmann draws attention to an Ethiopic root adma, "pleasant," "agreeable," "charming"-a derivation, however, which he rejects. Suffice it to say, that no certain derivation has yet been found for the term (thus Dillmann, "ein sicheres Etymon fur Adam ist noch nicht gefunden," Genesis, 53). Evidently in the word the earthly side of man's origin is indicated.

2. Son of Man: The phrase ben-'adham, "son of man" (Numbers 23:19 Job 25:6 Ezekiel 2:3) is frequently found to denote man's frailty and unworthiness in the sight of God. So in the much-disputed passage in Genesis 6:2, where the "sons of God" are contrasted with the degenerate "daughters of men" (benoth ha-adham). See also Psalm 11:4; Psalm 12:1, 8; 14:02. On the other hand the dignity of man is sometimes indicated in the word Adam. Thus in Ecclesiastes 7:28, "One man ('adham) among a thousand have I found: but a woman among all those have I not found."

3. 'Enosh:

'enosh (Psalm 8:4; Psalm 10:18; Psalm 90:3; Psalm 103:15; frequently in Job and Psalms), man in his impotence, frailty, mortality (like the Greek brotos) as against 'ish, man in his strength and vigor. In Genesis 4:26 the word becomes a proper name, applied to the son of Seth. Delitzsch derives it from a root 'anash (related to the Arabic and Assyrian), signifying "to be or become frail." To intensify this frailty, we have the phrase in Psalm 10:18, " 'enosh (man) who is of the earth."

4. 'Ish:

('ish), Septuagint aner, Vulg, vir, male as against female, even among lower animals (Genesis 7:2); husband as contrasted with wife ('ishshah, Genesis 2:23, 24); man in his dignity and excellence (Jeremiah 5:1: "seek,. if ye can find a man"); persons of standing (Proverbs 8:4, where 'ish is contrasted with bene 'adham, "Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men")-"like the Attic andres and anthropoi, wisdom turning her discourse to high and low, to persons of standing and to the proletariat" (Delitzsch on Prov). Delitzsch maintains, that 'ish points to a root 'osh "to be strong," and 'ishshah to 'anash, as designating woman in her weakness (compare 1 Peter 3:7: "the weaker vessel"). "Thus 'ishshah and 'enosh come from a like verbal stem and fundamental notion" (Delitzsch, A New Commentary on Genesis, 145). The term 'ish is sometimes used generally, as the Greek tis, the French on, to express "anyone," as in Exodus 21:14; Exodus 16:29.

5. Gebher:

gebher, gibbor, man in his strength. The term is applied to men as contrasted with women and children (Job 3:3), "a male child," in opposition to a female (Septuagint: arsen); also in contrast to non-combatants (Exodus 10:11) and in New Testament, see Matthew 8:9 John 1:6, where anthropos is used. Thus we read: "Neither shall a man (gebher) put on a woman's garment" (Deuteronomy 22:5). Heroes and warriors are specially indicated by the term in such phrases as "mighty man of valor" (Judges 6:12). Sometimes animals are denoted by the term, as in Proverbs 30:30 ("mightiest among beasts"); sometimes it is applied to God (Isaiah 10:21) and to the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6). In combination with 'ish it gives intensity to the meaning, as in 1 Samuel 14:52 "any mighty man."

6. Anthropos:

Of the Greek terms anthropos stands for man(kind) generally-a human being (Matthew 12:12 Mark 10:27); though it is sometimes used to indicate man in his imperfection and weakness (1 Corinthians 3:3, 4), in such expressions as "to speak as a man" (Romans 3:5 the King James Version), gospel "after man" (Galatians 1:11), "after the manner of men" (1 Corinthians 15:32) etc.; or as showing the contrast between the perishable and the imperishable (2 Corinthians 4:16, where the "outward man" is represented as slowly dying, while the "inward man" is being renewed from day to day). Thus Paul contrasts the "natural man" (1 Corinthians 2:14), the "old man," with the "new" (Romans 6:6 Colossians 3:9, 10).

7. Aner:

Aner, Latin: vir-man in his vigor as contrasted with woman in her weakness (1 Corinthians 11:3 1 Peter 3:7): sometimes, however, standing for "men in general" (Mark 6:44: "They that ate the loaves were five thousand men"-andres).

II. The Nature of Man: Biblical Conception:

1. Biblical Terms:

The Biblical idea of man's nature may be summed up in the words of Paul, "of the earth, earthy" (1 Corinthians 15:47), as compared and contrasted with the statement in Genesis 1:27: "God created man in his own image." This act of creation is described as the result of special deliberation on the part of God-the Divine Being taking counsel with Himself in the matter (verse 26). Man therefore is a creature, formed, fashioned, shaped out of "earth" and made after the "image of God." More than one word is employed in the Old Testament to express His idea:

(1) bara', "create," a word of uncertain derivation, occurring five times in Genesis 1, to indicate the origin of the universe (verse 1), the origin of life in the waters (verse 24), the origin of man (verse 27), and always in connection with God's creative work, never where "second causes" are introduced. (2) yatsar, "fashion," "form," "knead" (Genesis 2:7), "of the dust of the ground."

(3) banah, "build," in special reference to the creation of woman, "built out of the rib" (Genesis 2:22). By God's special interposition man becomes a nephesh chayyah ("a living soul"), where evidently there is a reference to the breath of life, which man shares with the animal world (Genesis 1:20, 21, 24); yet with this distinction, that "God Himself breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life" (literally, "breath of lives," nishmath chayyim). With a single exception, that of Genesis 7:22, the word neshamah, "breath," is confined to man. In Job reference is made to his creative act, where Elihu says: "There is a spirit in man, and the breath (nishmath) of the Almighty (shaddai) giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8); compare also Isaiah 42:5: "He. giveth breath (neshamah) unto the people." Man therefore is a being separated from the rest of creation and yet one with it.

2. Image and Likeness:

This distinction becomes more clear in the declaration that man was made in the "image" (tselem, eikon, imago), and after the likeness (demuth, homoiosis, similitudo) of God. The question has been asked whether the two terms differ essentially in meaning; some maintaining that "image" refers to the physical, "likeness" to the ethical side of man's nature; others holding that "image" is that which is natural to man, was created with him, was therefore as it were stamped upon him (concreata), and "likeness" that which was acquired by him (acquisita); while others again declare that "image" is the concrete and "likeness" the abstract for the same idea. There is very little scriptural ground for these assertions. Nor can we accept the interpretation of the older Socinians and some of the Remonstrants, that God's image consisted in dominion over all creatures, a reference to which is made in Genesis 1:28.

3. Meaning of Terms:

Turning to the narrative itself, it would appear that the two terms do not denote any real distinction. In Genesis 1:27 tselem ("image") alone is used to express all that separates man from the brute and links him to his Creator. Hence, the expression "in our image." In 1:26, however, the word demuth ("similitude") is introduced, and we have the phrase "after our likeness," as though to indicate that the creature bearing the impress of God's "image" truly corresponded in "likeness" to the original, the ectype resembling the archetype. Luther has translated the clause: "An image which is like unto us"-ein Bild das uns gleich sei-and in the new Dutch (Leyden) of the Old Testament by Kuenen, Hooijkaas and others, it is rendered: "as our image, like unto us"-als ons evenbeeld ons gelijkende.

The two words may therefore be taken as standing to each other in the same relation in which copy or model stands to the original image. "The idea in tselem-says Delitzsch-is more rigid, that of demuth more fluctuating and so to speak more spiritual: in the former the notion of the original image, in the latter that of the ideal predominates." At any rate we have scriptural warrant (see especially, Genesis 9:6 James 3:9) for the statement, that the image is the inalienable property of the race (Laidlaw), so that offense against a fellow-man is a desecration of the Divine image impressed upon man. Calvin has put it very clearly: Imago Dei est integra naturae humanae praestantia ("The image of God is the complete excellence of human nature").

4. Subsidiary Questions:

Other questions have been asked by early Church Fathers and by Schoolmen of later days, which may here be left out of the discussion. Some, like Tertullian, considered the "image" to be that of the coming Christ (Christi futuri); others have maintained that Adam was created after the image of the Logos (the Word, the second person in the Trinity), which was impressed upon man at his creation. Of all this Scripture knows nothing. There man is represented as made after the image of "Elohim," of the Godhead and not of one person of the Trinity. Paul calls man "the image and glory (eikon kai doxa) of God" (1 Corinthians 11:7). We may safely let the matter rest there. The strange theory, that the image of God indicates the sphere or element into which man was created, may be mentioned without further discussion (on this see Bohl, Dogmatik, 154 and Kuijper, De vleeschwording des Woords).

5. Constituents of Image:

In what then does this image or likeness consist? Certainly in what is inalienably human-a body as the temple of the Holy Ghost (the "earthly house" of 2 Corinthians 5:1), and the rational, inspiring, inbreathed spirit. Hence man's personably, linking into to what is above, separating him from what is beneath, constitutes him a being apart-a rational, self-conscious, self-determining creature, intended by his Creator for fellowship with Himself. "The animal feels the Cosmos and adapts himself to it. Man feels the Cosmos, but also thinks it" (G. H. Lewes, Problems of Life and Mind). Light is thrown on the subject by the New Testament, and especially by the two classical texts: Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10, where the "new man" is referred to as "after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth" and "renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him." Knowledge, righteousness and holiness may fully be considered elements in the character of man as originally designed by God. Likeness to God therefore is man's privilege above all created beings. What was said of the Son of God absolutely, "He is the express image (character) of God," is applied to man relatively the created son is not the only-begotten Son. The created son was "like unto God" (homoiosis; 1 John 3:2), and even in his degradation there is the promise of renewal after that image: the eternal, only-begotten Son is God's equal (Philippians 2:6, 7), though he became a servant and was made in the likeness (homoiomati) of men.

This likeness of man with God is not merely a Scriptural idea. Many ancient nations seem to have grasped this thought. Man's golden age was placed by them in a far-off past, not in a distant future. Paul quotes a pagan poet in Acts 17:28, "We are also his offspring" (Aratus of Soli, in Cilicia, a countryman of the apostle). This statement also occurs in the beautiful hymn to Jupiter, ascribed to Cleanthes, a Stoic native of Assos in the Troad, and contemporary of Aratus. Psychologically and historically therefore, the Bible view is justified.

III. Origin of Man from Scripture Account: Narratives of Creation.

The Divine origin of man is clearly taught in the early chapters of Genesis, as has lust been seen.

1. Scriptural Account:

Two narratives from different sources are supposed to have been combined by an unknown editor to form a not very harmonious whole. It is the purpose of criticism to determine the relationship in which they stand to each other and the dates of their composition. In both accounts man is the crowning glory of creation. The first account (Genesis 1:1-2:3) is general, the second particular (Genesis 2:4-25); in the first we have an account of man's appearance on a prepared platform-a gradual rise in the scale of organized existence from chaos upward to the climax, which is reached in man. There is recognized order in the whole procedure, represented by the writer as a process which occupied six days, or periods, measured by the appearance and dissipation of darkness. In the first period, chaotic disturbance is succeeded by the separation of light from darkness, which in its turn is followed by the separation of water from dry land, and to this a second period is assigned.

Then gradually in the next four periods we have in orderly sequence the rise of vegetable life, the formation of the creatures of the deep, of the air, of the dry land. When all is prepared man is called into being by a special fiat of the Almighty. Moreover, while other creatures were produced "after their kind," man alone as a unique conception of the Divine Intelligence is made to appear upon the scene, called into existence by direct Divine interposition, after a Divine type, and in distinction of sex; for both man and wife, in a later chapter, are called by the same name: Adam (Genesis 5:2). Such is the scope of the first narrative. No wonder, then, that Scripture elsewhere calls the first man "the son of God" (Luke 3:38). It need not be determined here, whether the account is strictly chronological, whether the "days" are interludes between successive periods of darkness and not periods of twenty-four hours regulated by the rising and setting of the sun, or whether the whole narrative is but a prose poem of creation, not strictly accurate, or strictly scientific.

2. The Two Narratives:

In the second narrative (Genesis 2:2-25) the order of procedure is different. Man here is not the climax, but the center. He is a creature of the dust, but with the breath of God in his nostrils (Genesis 2:7), holding sway over all things, as God's vice-gerent upon earth, creation circling around him and submitting to his authority. To this is added a description of man's early home and of his home-relationships. The second narrative therefore seems on the face of it to be supplementary to the first, not contradictory of it: the agreements indeed are far greater than the differences. "The first may be called typical, the second, physiological. The former is the generic account of man's creation-of man the race, the ideal; the latter is the production of the actual man, of the historic Adam" (Laidlaw).

3. Contrasts:

The differences between the two narratives have been magnified by supporters of the various documentary hypotheses. They are supposed to differ in style-the first "displaying clear marks of study and deliberation," the second being "fresh spontaneous, primitive" (Driver, Genesis). They differ also in representation, i.e. in detail and order of events-the earth, in the second narrative not emerging from the waters as in the first, but dry and not fitted for the support of vegetation, and man appearing not last but first on the scene, followed by beasts and birds and lastly by woman. The documents are further supposed to differ in their conception of Divine interposition and a consequent choice of words, the first employing words, like "creating," "dividing," "making," "setting," which imply nothing local, or sensible in the Divine nature, the second being strongly anthropomorphic-Yahweh represented as "moulding," "placing," "taking," "building," etc-and moreover locally determined within limits, confined apparently to a garden as His accustomed abode. Without foreclosing the critical question, it may be replied that the first narrative is as anthropomorphic as the second, for God is there represented as "speaking," "setting," (Genesis 1:17; Genesis 2:17), "delighting in" the work of His hands (Genesis 1:31), "addressing" the living creatures (Genesis 1:22), and "resting" at the close (Genesis 2:2). As to the home of Yahweh in a limited garden, we are expressly told, not that man was admitted to the home of his Maker, but that Yahweh specially "planted a garden" for the abode of man. The order of events may be different; but certainly the scope and the aim are not.

4. Objections:

More serious have been the objections raised on scientific grounds. The cosmogony of Genesis has been disputed, and elaborate comparisons have been made between geological theories as to the origin of the world and the Mosaic account. The points at issue are supposed to be the following: geology knows of no "periods" corresponding to the "days" of Genesis; "vegetation" in Genesis appears before animal life, geology maintains that they appear simultaneously; "fishes and birds" in Genesis preceded all land animals; in the geological record "birds" succeed "fishes" and are preceded by numerous species of land animals (so Driver, Genesis). To this a twofold reply has been given: (1) The account in Genesis is not scientific, or intended to be so: it is a prelude to the history of human sin and of Divine redemption, and gives a sketch of the world's origin and the earth's preparation for man as his abode, with that one object in view. The starting-point of the narrative is the creation of the universe by God; the culminating point is the creation of man in the image of God. Between these two great events certain other acts of creation in orderly sequence are presented to our view, in so far as they bear upon the great theme of sin and redemption discussed in the record. The aim is practical, not speculative; theological, not scientific.

The whole creation-narrative must be judged from that point of view. See COSMOGONY. (2) What has struck many scientists is not so much the difference or disharmony between the Mosaic and the geological record, as the wonderful agreements in general outline apart from discrepancies in detail. Geologists like Dana and Dawson have expressed this as clearly as Haeckel. The latter, e.g., has openly given utterance to his "just and sincere admiration of the Jewish lawgiver's grand insight into nature and his simple and natural hypothesis of creation. which contrasts favorably with the confused mythology of creation current among most of the ancient nations" (History of Creation, I, 37, 38). He draws attention to the agreement between the Mosaic account, which accepts "the direct action of a constructive Creator," and the non-miraculous theory of development, inasmuch as "the idea of separation and differentiation of the originally simple matter and of a progressive development" is to be found in the "Jewish lawgiver's" record.

5. Babylonian Origin:

Latterly it has been maintained that Israel was dependent upon Babylon for its creation-narrative; but even the most serious supporters of this view have had to concede that the first introduction of Babylonian myth into the sacred narrative "must remain a matter of conjecture," and that "it is incredible, that the monotheistic author of Genesis 1, at whatever date he lived, could have borrowed any detail, however slight, from the polytheistic epic of Marduk and Tiamat" (Driver, Genesis, 31). The statement of Bauer in his Hebraische Mythologie, 1802: "Es ist heut zu Tage ausser allen Zweifel gesetzt, dass die ganze Erzahlung ein Mythus ist" (It is beyond all doubt, that the whole narrative is a myth), can no longer be satisfactorily maintained; much less the assertion that we have here an introduction of post-exilic Babylonian or Persian myth into the Hebrew narrative (compare Van Leeuwen, Anthropologie).

6. Later Critical Views:

Whether the division of the narrative into Elohistic and Jehovistic documents will stand the test of time is a question which exercises a great many minds. Professor Eerdmans of Leyden, the present occupant of Kuenen's chair, has lately maintained that a "thorough application of the critical theories of the school of Graf-Kuenen-Wellhausen leads to highly improbable results," and that "the present Old Testament criticism has to reform itself" (HJ, July, 1909). His own theory is worked out in his Alttestamentliche Studien, to which the reader is referred.

IV. Unity of the Race: Various Theories.

1. Its Solidarity:

The solidarity of the race may be said to be as distinctly a doctrine of science as it is of Scripture. It is implied in the account of the Creation and of the Deluge. It is strongly affirmed by Paul in his address to the Athenians (Acts 17:26), and is the foundation of the Biblical scheme of redemption (John 3:16). The human race in the Old Testament is described as "sons of Adam" (Deuteronomy 32:8 the King James Version), as derived from one pair (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3:20), as having its origin in one individual (Genesis 2:18 1 Corinthians 11:8, where woman is described as derived `from man'). Hence the term "Adam" is applied to the race as well as to the individual (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:5, 7; 3:22, 24; 5:2); while in the New Testament this doctrine is applied to the history of redemption-Christ as the "second Adam" restoring what was lost in the "first Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 47-49).

2. Various Theories:

Outside of Holy Scripture various theories have been held as to the origin, antiquity and primeval condition of the human race. That of polygenism (plurality of origin) has found special favor, partly as co-Adamitism, or descent of different races from different progenitors (Paracelsus and others), partly as pre-adamitism, or descent of dark-colored races from an ancestor who lived before Adam-the progenitor of the Jews and the light-colored races (Zanini and especially de la Peyrere). But no serious attempts have yet been made to divide the human race among a number of separately originated ancestors.

3. Evolutionary View:

The Biblical account, however, has been brought into discredit by modern theories of evolution. Darwinism in itself does not favor polygenism; though many interpreters of the evolutionary hypothesis have given it that application. Darwin distinctly repudiates polygenism. He says: "Those naturalists who admit the principle of evolution will feel no doubt, that all the races of man are descended from a single primitive stock" (Descent of Man, second ed., 176); and on a previous page we read: "Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges, whether he should be classed as a single species, or race, or as two (Verey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawford), or as sixty-three, according to Burke" (p. 174).

V. Evolutionary Theory as to Origin of Man.

Modern science generally accepts theory of evolution. Darwin gave to the hypothesis a character it never had before; but since his day its application has been unlimited. "From the organic it is extended to the inorganic world; from our planet and the solar system to the cosmos, from nature to the creations of man's mind-arts, laws, institutions, religion. We speak in the same breath of the evolution of organic beings and of the steam engine, of the printing-press, of the newspaper, now even of the atom" (Orr, God's Image in Man, 84). And yet, in spite of this very wide and far-reaching application of theory, the factors that enter into the process, the method or methods by which the great results in this process are obtained, may still be considered as under debate. Its application to the Bible doctrine of man presents serious difficulties.

1. Darwinism:

Darwin's argument may be presented in the following form. In Nature around us there is to be observed a struggle for existence, to which every organism is exposed, whereby the weaker ones are eliminated and the stronger or best-fitted ones made to survive. Those so surviving may be said metaphorically to be chosen by Nature for that purpose-hence the term "natural selection," assisted in the higher forms of life by "sexual selection," under the influence of which the best-organized males are preferred by the females, and thus as it were selected for propagation of the species. The properties or characteristics of the organisms so chosen are transmitted to their descendants, so that with indefinite variability "from a few forms or from one, into which life has been originally breathed, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, or are being evolved" (Origin of Species, 6th ed., 429). Applying this mode of procedure to the origin of man, the strength of the argument is found to lie in the analogies between man and the brute, which may be summed up as follows:

(1) morphological peculiarities in the structure of the bodily organs, in their liability to the same diseases, in their close similarity as regards tissues, blood, etc.;

(2) embryological characteristics, in the development of the human being, like the brute, from an ovule, which does not differ from and passes through the same evolutionary process as that of any other animal;

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Image (126 Occurrences)

Earth (10501 Occurrences)

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Woman (4043 Occurrences)

Wisdom (320 Occurrences)

Man (26072 Occurrences)

Dress (38 Occurrences)

Solomon (277 Occurrences)

Creation (35 Occurrences)


Demoniac (7 Occurrences)

Demon (26 Occurrences)






World (2829 Occurrences)

Leviticus (1 Occurrence)

God (45911 Occurrences)

Religion (23 Occurrences)

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