Adam in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha
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Adam in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha


ad'-am, ('adham; Septuagint Adam).

1. Usage and Etymology:

The Hebrew word occurs some 560 times in the Old Testament with the meaning "man," "mankind." Outside Genesis 1-5 the only case where it is unquestionably a proper name is 1 Chronicles 1:1. Ambiguous are Deuteronomy 32:8, the King James Version "sons of Adam," the Revised Version (British and American) "children of men"; Job 31:33 the King James Version "as" the Revised Version (British and American) "like Adam," but margin "after the manner of men"; Hosea 6:7 the King James Version "like men," the Revised Version (British and American) "like Adam," and vice versa in the margin. In Genesis 1 the word occurs only twice, 1:26, 27. In Genesis 2-4 it is found 26 times, and in 5:1, 3, 4, 5. In the last four cases and in 4:25 it is obviously intended as a proper name; but the versions show considerable uncertainty as to the rendering in the other cases. Most modern interpreters would restore a vowel point to the Hebrew text in 2:20; 3:17, 21, thus introducing the definite article, and read uniformly "the man" up to 4:25, where the absence of the article may be taken as an indication that "the man" of the previous narrative is to be identified with "Adam," the head of the genealogy found in 5:1. Several conjectures have been put forth as to the root-meaning of the Hebrew word:

(1) creature;

(2) ruddy one;

(3) earthborn. Less probable are

(4) pleasant-to sight-and

(5) social gregarious.

2. Adam in the Narrative of Genesis:

Many argue from the context that the language of Genesis 1:26, 27 is general, that it is the creation of the human species, not of any particular individual or individuals, that is in the described. But

(1) the context does not even descend to a species, but arranges created things according to the most general possible classification: light and darkness; firmament and waters; land and seas; plants; sun, moon, stars; swimming and flying creatures; land animals. No possible parallel to this classification remains in the case of mankind.

(2) In the narrative of Genesis 1 the recurrence of identical expressions is almost rigidly uniform, but in the case of man the unique statement occurs (verse 27), "Male and female created he them." Although Dillmann is here in the minority among interpreters, it would be difficult to show that he is wrong in interpreting this as referring to one male and one female, the first pair. In this case we have a point of contact and of agreement with the narrative of chapter 2.

Man, created in God's image, is given dominion over every animal, is allowed every herb and fruit tree for his sustenance, and is bidden multiply and fill the earth. In Genesis 2:4-5:5 the first man is made of the dust, becomes a living creature by the breath of God, is placed in the garden of Eden to till it, gives names to the animals, receives as his counterpart and helper a woman formed from part of his own body, and at the woman's behest eats of the forbidden fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." With her he is then driven from the garden, under the curse of brief life and heavy labor, since should he eat-or continue to eat?-of the fruit of the "tree of life," not previously forbidden, he might go on living forever. He becomes the father of Cain and of Abel, and of Seth at a time after the murder of Abel. According to 5:3, 5 Adam is aged 130 years at the birth of Seth and lives to the age of 930 years.

3. Teachings of the Narrative:

That man was meant by the Creator to be in a peculiar sense His own "image"; that he is the divinely appointed ruler over all his fellow-creatures on earth; and that he enjoys, together with them, God's blessing upon a creature fit to serve the ends for which it was created-these things lie upon the surface of Genesis 1:26-31. In like manner 2-4 tell us that the gift of a blessed immortality was within man's reach; that his Creator ordained that his moral development should come through an inward trial, not as a mere gift; and that the presence of suffering in the world is due to sin, the presence of sin to the machinations of a subtle tempter. The development of the doctrine of the fall belongs to the New Testament. See ADAM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT; FALL, THE.

4. Adam in Apocrypha:

Allusions to the narrative of the creation and the fall of man, covering most points of the narrative of Genesis 1-4, are found in 2 Esdras 3:4-7, 10, 21, 26; 4:30; 6:54-56; 7:11, 46-48; Tobit 8:6, The Wisdom of Solomon 2:23; 9:2; 10:1, Ecclesiasticus 15:14; 17:1-4; 25:24:00; 40:01:00; 49:16:00. In both 2 Esdras and The Wisdom of Solomon we read that death came upon all men through Adam's sin, while 2 Esdras 4:30 declares that "a grain of evil seed was sown in the heart of Adam from the beginning." Aside from this doctrinal development the Apocrypha offers no additions to the Old Testament narrative.

F. K. Farr


Articles of Religion of the Reformed Episcopal Church in America. ...
... New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life ... to be heard, which feign
that the old Fathers did ... sin standeth not in the following of Adam, as the ...
/.../articles of religion of the.htm

Apocryphal Apocalypses.
... The Apocalypse of Moses."This document belongs to the Apocrypha of the Old Testament
rather than ... to the Syriac text of the Penitence of Adam, edited and ...
/.../unknown/apocrypha of the new testament/part iii apocryphal apocalypses.htm

Appendix i. Pseudepigraphic Writings
... of Esdras, which appears among our Apocrypha as 2 ... tantum; nos vero unusquisque fuit
animæ suæ Adam). ... and fragments of other Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, comp ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/appendix i pseudepigraphic writings.htm

Index of Subjects.
... Adam, his apostasy the key to the plan of redemption ... Apocrypha, meaning of the word,
350. Apocryphal books of the Old Testament, 198, 350, seq.; uncertainty of ...
// to the bible/index of subjects.htm

Philo of Alexandria, the Rabbis, and the Gospels - the Final ...
... but God had no somewhere, as Adam seemed to ... we can perceive, how the Apocrypha -
especially the Book of Wisdom - following up the Old Testament typical truth ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/chapter iv philo of alexandria.htm

... are conceived in the spirit of Old Testament prophecy, and ... and the Epistle of Jeremy
in our English Apocrypha. ... Daniel also is mentioned; and Adam, Lamech, Moses ...

The Apocalypse of Baruch.
... Syriac version in his Syriac edition of the Old Testament Apocrypha. ... ambiguity of
expression in the Old Testament to enhance ... into the world by Adam's sin, but ...
// apocalypse of baruch.htm

Books not Included in the Hebrew Canon.
... the ancient lists add certain apocrypha properly so ... continues: Kai hosa apokrupha;
Adam, Henoch, Lamech ... apocryphon of the Greek Old Testament claims attention ...
/.../chapter iii books not included.htm

What Messiah did the Jews Expect?
... Similarly, the Apocrypha are silent on the subject, the only ... been revealed to two
sons of Adam, Jacob and ... it - not at present from the Old Testament, but from ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/chapter v what messiah did.htm

The Institutes of the Christian Religion
// institutes of the christian religion/



Adam in the New Testament

Adam in the Old Testament

Adam in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha

Adam: A City Near the Jordan

Adam: A Name of Christ

Adam: The First Man

Adam: The First Man: Brought Sin Into the World

Adam: The First Man: Creation of

Adam: The First Man: His Death

Adam: The First Man: History of, Before he Sinned

Adam: The First Man: Progenitor of the Human Race

Adam: The First Man: Subsequent History of

Adam: The First Man: Temptation and Sin of

Adam: The First Man: Type of Christ

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