• Did you know that the word ‘Adam’ is used in multiple ways in Genesis and the Bible? And that how it’s used has different meanings?
  • We usually only think of ‘Adam’ as only the proper noun of a person, especially the first human e.g. Genesis 5:3. ‘Adam’ is his name, but it’s also so much more.
  • The word ‘Adam’ (pronounced in Hebrew a bit more like ‘Adahm’) is first used (1:26a, 27a) to mean humanity, thus NIV has “mankind”. ‘Adam’ is ‘man’. So, in Chapter Two, God is not ‘just’ making one male, he creates mankind (2:7-8, 15-16). Humanity is created; mankind is given a task in God’s world. He is not just ‘a man’, he is ‘man’!
  • Thus, ‘Adam’ is us; what he does, humanity does. He is one and the whole. Thus, the consequences of his actions are consequences for all of us. This is why Adam’s sin brings terrible consequences and punishments for all humanity (Romans 5:12, 15a, 17a, 18a, 19a). This is one of the reasons why God is fair to bring consequences and punishment to everyone, because of one person’s sin; because his sin was ‘our’ sin; humanity sinned in the Garden; we sinned.
  • The previous paragraph explains why we need a perfect Adam, a perfect human/humanity. This is why we need Jesus, who lived perfectly. Thus, Jesus is described as “the second man” (1 Corinthians 15:47) and “the last man” (v45). In one sense, there are only two humanities/two men/two people: the man(kind) who sinned and plunged man(kind) into disaster and grief and punishment; and the other man(kind), the “second” man(kind), different, perfect, godly one, the one who comes at the time of fulfillment, at the time when God begins to bring all of his cosmic purposes to fulfillment (“the end times”). Thus, that man(kind) is the “last” (eschatos) man, Christ.
  • Genesis 2 also talks about The Adam (“the man”; Genesis 2:22-23a) to differentiate him from “the woman”).

So, Adam is at times:

  • an individual;
  • an individual differentiated from another individual (woman; who is the other ’part’ of ’man’ (1:27);
  • an individual who is the collective (Adam, who is mankind);
  • an individual who represents sinful humanity or
  • the individual who is the godly mankind.

So, the Bible is not a ‘simple’, ‘crude’ book— it has depth or meaning and much to say, even by using one word: Adam!