Who is Adam?

Dave, a long-time reader, asked me a great series of hot-potato questions on CosmicFingerprints.com:Peter_Paul_Rubens_004

Q: Were there a historical first two humans (“Adam and Eve”) that gave us our entire species or were more contributors to our species? Does DNA show that there were other human species that existed and the one we have today is simply the simply didn’t die out?

A: So far as I know, genetics shows the human race came through a minimum population bottleneck of 5,000 to 10,000 people. A lot of people take this to mean Adam and Eve were simply mythical creatures, which creates more than a few theological problems.

However Richard J. Fischer in his book Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham makes a strong case that: Adam wasn’t the first human. Adam was the first Semitic person.

The Genesis text gives clues that this is true. Cain kills Abel. He complains, “If anyone finds me they will kill me” and off he goes to build a city.

A city? For who?

And who is “anyone”? From the text it would appear there are only three people alive, Cain was the oldest, Abel was younger, and they had no other kids.

Sounds like other people are around.

Adam wasn’t the first man. He was the first prophet.

Q: Do humans have a unique dimension apart of from the animals (e.g. having supernatural spirit, not just a natural soul)

A: Yes. However I don’t have a way that I can plug a voltmeter into people and prove this. Anecdotal evidence is all around.

Q: Did the first human sin produce an event called “the Fall”?

A: Yes.

Q: Was the Fall an event or a process?

A: I think it’s both. I’m not sure I can elaborate much.

Q: Did the Fall produce a spiritual death or physical death, both, or neither?

A: Spiritual death. Not physical death. God told Eve “In the day you eat of the fruit you will surely die.” She didn’t die physically that day. And we also need to look carefully at Romans 5:

Which clarification of Romans 1 makes more sense – the first one or the second?

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and physical death through sin, and in this way physical death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, physical death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many physically died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, physical death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in physical life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and physical life for all people.

…..

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and spiritual death through sin, and in this way spiritual death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, spiritual death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many spiritually died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, spiritual death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in eternal life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and eternal life for all people.

I don’t think Romans 5 makes sense if death is “physical death.” Sin brought spiritual death.

Q: If the Fall produced either spiritual or physical death, did either of these occur before the Fall?

A: Physical death has been going on for billions of years.

Q: Did the Fall result in corruption that affected the rest of the cosmos?

A: I suspect so. I can’t say exactly how. I suspect man became more at war with nature than he was before.

Q: Is this the only universe?

A: I doubt it. People who know cosmology far better than I say we have good mathematical reasons to believe the ignition of our universe likely triggered others.

However I strongly object to people who invoke multiverses simply to avoid the incredibly pervasive evidence for fine-tuning in our universe.

Some people say there’s a trillion other universes with random characteristics and we live in “the lucky one.” There may be good reasons to believe in a multiverse, but that one’s lame.

4 Responses to “Who is Adam?”

  1. Paul Despault says:

    I am a retired engineer, with a past career emphasis in analytical and product design. As a Christian, but also having a cautious skeptical scientific mind, I have wrestled, to this day, to make sense of the ‘apple’ and ‘tree of life’ that are implicated in the ‘original sin’.
    I would appreciate some nice, deep reasoned, new take on the explanations on that subject.
    My own life-time developed view is that there was a Falling of sorts (I see that most agree to this). So then the nature of the Fall matters, but most certainly has nothing to do with any of the classical interpretations of the biblical writings, which suffer greatly in credibility/logical reasoning. As an amateur astronomer and with my fascination with the likelihood (no, certainty) that there is highly advanced, sentient life in the universe, and of course, a Great supernatural Master Designer, it brings me back to those Nephilim, of the Bible. I read several of Z.Sitchin’s books but think he (respected… but) has missed a lot and is off the mark somewhat…(chemical propelled rockets?, in the historical past, commandeered by advanced, space traveling folks… highly improbable). The DNA connection seems to be there though, and that ‘tree of life’ really strongly suggests the DNA ‘tree’. My current thinking is that there were (and are still) indeed ‘angelic’ entities in the universe (ET’s, perhaps even supernatural), that they tampered with the DNA codes and violated some higher cardinal (no go there), CODE rule. The ‘apple’ and the ‘tree of life story’ seems to throw this notion ‘right in our face’ to seriously consider. DNA is without objection, a ‘tree of life’ and THE ‘tree of life’ as far as we see it in today’s science. The apple then symbolizes the ‘eating’ or ‘manipulating’ of that DNA structure. Violation of such a higher CODE, this makes amazing sense to me and must be connected to the truth. So then, all of this plays into the purpose of what we are to do here on earth, at all, and must connect to our capacity to out-think all other species on earth. The peculiar arrival of our ‘Consciousness’ seems to coincide uncannily with the time-frame of this biblical event in that ‘we were suddenly made aware that we were naked’= consciousness and self-awareness and curiosity.
    And I believe that we have a Purpose to find our way back into conformance with the CODE. I believe that we HAD to have been made aware of/ given hints/ as to how to correct the major ‘taboo’ error. I cannot help but believe, after a lifetime of introspection, that we are still deeply plagued by that origin problem that led us to the Fall in the first place… Humans seem to be (nearly) the only extremely selfish species on this earth. Hence, all the encouraging messages of the bible… old and new covenants, that guide us back, by giving us the means to correct our mistake(s), make amazing sense. Unfortunately, I am quite skeptical that we will solve this self aggrandizement problem anytime soon. The need for the mindless perpetuation of an always ‘self first’ attitude to achieve higher and higher limitless wealth and power, makes no rational sense and is literally ‘insane’… further proof that ‘we have purpose’ here on earth.

    • I also was an engineer, but I was able to get a masters of divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an on-line doctorate in theology. Also I was privileged to take Greek discourse analyse from Wycliffe Bible Translators. I put this background together to find an answer to human origins that makes sense. I found that the descendants of Adam and Eve married into an existing human race. I prove this mathematically in my book New Evidence for Two Human Origin: Discoveries That Reconcile the Bible and Science. Adam and Eve were real people, which God created out of the ground just as the Bible says. God put them in a garden along with certain animals which he created also out of the ground. One of these was an especially designed snake that, out of jealously, deceived Eve. Their sin resulted in both spiritual and physical death. God proved from Adam’s intentional sin against God’s command not to eat of a certain tree that Man is rebellious by nature. Man’s sin comes from his fleshly composition as Genesis 6:3 indicates. God’s answer to the sin problem is for the blood of Christ to bring forgiveness to the believer (1 Pet. 1:19) and for the presence of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the the believer (Rom. 8). The Holy Spirit helps a serious believer to overcome evil as he attends a good church, reads his Bible with understanding, and prays to God through the name of Jesus Christ. My blog is http://www.garytmayer.blogspot.com.

    • Paul,

      I also am a retired Christian engineer (77). I also was concerned with making sense of Genesis and the rest of the Bible in light of the current scientific findings. Finally I felt it necessary to make a thorough study of the subject. At the time I began my study I was not working as an engineer. I was working in the shop. Fortunately, I had received a masters of divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and had taken helpful linguistics classes through Wycliffe Bible translators at the U. of North Dakota and at the U. of Texas, Arlington. This helped me to tackle the Hebrew and Greek. I wrote a 470-page book expressing my views on the subject entitled “New Evidence for Two Human Origins: Discoveries That Reconcile the Bible and Science” (AuthorHouse, 2007, 2009, 2015). I also have a blog: http://www.garytmayer.blogspot.com. But people hardly ever buy it and I think the hard copies on Amazon are may old editions, but not the Kindle version. I wrote a number of comments on Perry Marshall’s website. Perry believes that a spiritual death is referred to in Genesis, but not a physical death. I believe it was both, but mainly physical. Perry’s website is https://evo2.org/evolution-biblical/. I will reproduce some of one of my comments to Perry below:

      I…[was] working on my theory of human origins at the kitchen table and it came to me how to begin to calculate the most probable theoretical life spans as you go ahead down the biblical genealogies [Genesis 5 and 11] so that I could compare these with the actual live spans from the Bible. To my excitement, the actual life spans were close to the most probable life spans. My calculations were based upon the fact (proven to be true by the way the numbers came out) that because over 7,000 genes determine a person’s live spans (Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999), 204.), the mother’s DNA will win out half the time and the father’s DNA will win out the other half; therefore, the offspring will be the average of its parents life spans. Also I noticed that when the descends of Noah dwelt at the Tower of Babel, their life spans did not drop, but when God scattered them, the next son was approximately the average of his life span and 60 years. I went on from generation to generation proving my conclusion over and over. To combine these coincidences one would have to multiply them. This adds up to very great odds against it happening by chance. Notice that because it was proven that the actual life spans follow the most probable life spans, the calculations also shows that the original assumption that the offspring’s will have a potential life span equal to the average of its parents’ life spans was a correct assumption.

      The above discovery was partially helpful to show what actually happened, but what about showing that this is also what the Bible teaches in its narratives as well as what its genealogies indicate. So I proved that Genesis 2:4 refers to the narrative that precedes it, and the Genesis 2:5 moves the narrative on to what happened after the original creation account in Genesis 1. Now it can be seen that in chapter 2 that God created only the animals that Adam was going to name. God wanted to make everything perfect for Adam because God was going to test him to show that the human race is sinful due to their fleshly composition (Genesis 6:3). This is why Genesis 5:2 tells us that God named Adam’s race “man”; both human creations are guilty of sin. God made a special snake to test them as he made a special fish to swallow Jonah and thereby save him. Also it was only basically the descendants of Adam that died in the flood. This is why the only “generations” formula that included the word “book” is Genesis 5:1; this was the end of the members of Adam’s race that were holding to the 929 average life span, except for Noah and his family.

      Then I had to bring out that “generation” was a bad translation to use for toledoth; it should have been translated “descendants.” In other words, the Bible actually says that mankind created in Genesis 1 was descended from the heavens and the earth!

      Then I had to show how Paul used the Greek article to mean only sins that were committed against a direct command of God to show that Romans 5:12 does not contradict the dual origin theory. Also a number of other verses needed to be also explained. It was also necessary to show something unknown about the Greek preposition ek.

      I am sorry to disagree with your view that Adam was a spiritual creation. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit. Too many old-earth exegetes resort to this view. I would be happy to accept it, just like I would be happy to accept the gap theory, if these views would harmonize with the rest of the Bible and with science and history, but they don’t. If the death of Adam and Eve were only spiritual, then why did God place guards by the entrance to the Garden so that no one could get to the tree of life? If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought spiritual death, would not the tree of life bring spiritual life and wouldn’t that be a good thing?

      Going to the New Testament, it becomes clear that the death that Adam experienced was both spiritual and physical because otherwise Paul’s argument in Romans 5 would not hold water. Paul proves that Adam’s sin brought physical death by showing that the people who lived between Adam and Moses died (v. 14) even though they had not sinned against a direct command of God as Adam did. So he mentions that the people who lived after Adam but before the Law of Moses was given, all died. Here he was pointing to the obvious—something that you could not debate as to whether the person was spiritually alive or not. He was definitely referring to physical death to prove his point that we are all judged to be sinners. But thank God he goes on to say, “But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many” (Rom. 5:15, NASB). It is true that Paul is concerned about both physical death and spiritual death, but he uses physical death to help prove his point concerning spiritual death. Paul’s point in referencing the people between Adam and Moses was to show that God imputed Adam’s sin to the whole human race, which caused God to permit the flesh to die, both before and after Adam.
      And we can go on to 1 Corinthians 15:35-49, especially verses 44-49: “[I]t is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, ‘The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.’…And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (NASB) Paul wants to show the reader that the resurrected body will be different from the physical body; he, therefore, compares the natural (or physical) body of Adam with the spiritual body of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. He quotes Genesis 2:7 to contrast the natural body with the spiritual body. He says that Adam became a living soul; this has to mean a physical body. This whole passage deals with bodies, not spirits. Someone will say, “But it says here that Adam was ‘the first man.’” By this statement the questioner shows that he thinks this verse means that Adam was the first human. But this is not the context of the passage, which will not allow this interpretation. This is because Christ is the last man, according to 1 Corinthians 15:45. Christ was only the last man of His personal genealogy; so the text is not saying that this “first man” was the first man of all men, but rather that Adam was the first man of Christ’s genealogy. Verse 15 shows what Paul was driving at when he bothered to mention Adam: “But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual. But note exactly what verse 45 says, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (NASB). The capitalization by NASB was to indicate that it was taken from the OT. But it was in Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [soul]” (NASB). To say that this creation was only a spiritual creation goes against not only the very verse that reveals it, but it also goes against the NT interpretation of this verse!

      Consider 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; this whole passage has as its context physical death and physical resurrection: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order, Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (NASB). “As in Adam all die,” that is, as a member of Adam’s humanity, all die, but as a member of Christ’s Kingdom they shall be made alive AT THE RESURRECTION. The parallel is between physical death and physical resurrection, not spiritual death and physical resurrection. “But each in his own order” does not begin a new subject; it is physical from start to finish.

      On page 328 [Evolution 2.0, Benbella Books, Dallas], you [Perry Marshall] give your view of what is really meant by the creation account in Genesis 2. This account must certainly be only describing the creation of one man and one woman. If this were a spiritual creation, rather than a physical creation, and if this “creation” made them truly human, what was the fate of all the other people who were alive at that time? And who or what are they now? And how do I know if I am a descendant of Adam? And how did God’s granting them a divine spirit cause them and their descendants to live to be an average of 929 years? And what brought their life spans down as recorded in Genesis 5 and 11? And why do the bar graphs in my book prove mathematically that Adam and Eve’s descendants married into a pre-Adamic race? And why only a glance at the actual life spans shows that they went down until their stay at the Tower of Babel and then [later] dropped as predicted by the math? And if the drop in life spans were due to radiation, why does the next life span show an increased life span that lies near one of the most probable life spans?
      Actually there is only one way to harmonize the Bible and science. The notion that Adam and Eve were mythical characters certainly also does not work. One thing we must be sure of, the New Testament teaches that Adam and Eve were real people. For example, Jude 1:14 says, “And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied…” (NASB). A trip to a concordance will show under Adam many other Bible verses that confirm this. I cannot emphasize the importance of always employing a grammatical-historical hermeneutic. It always leads to the truth. What people fail to realize is that Moses wrote Genesis 1 by using SIMPLIFICATION and CONSOLIDATION. I prove this in my book by showing that Genesis 1:13-14 describing day 4, actually says that God placed them in the heavens on day 4; Moses could have written that he caused them to appear, but he didn’t. He used this word in Genesis 1:9. But I also show that the luminaries created on day 4 were meant to be taken by the reader to be the luminaries that brought the day-night cycle of day 1, the sun and moon working in conjunction. The reader will, therefore, know that the author is CONSOLIDATING each aspect of creation into one day each. The reader understands that this was also the author’s method for the other days. The visible stars came into existence over much of God’s long days, and also did the plants and the animals. The author ends up with a dual triad with eight aspects. The introduction of the general dual triad approach to Genesis 1 was probably by Arie Noordtzij (See page 225 of The Genesis Debate edited by David G. Hagopian).
      Evidences for all my assertions above are given in my 470-page book, that is, the 2015 edition…. Could it be that the Bible nearly comes right out and says in Genesis 2:4 that the pre-Adamites “descended” from the heavens and the earth. The word “generations” is a very bad translation, as I explained in my book. “[T]he heavens and the earth” in Genesis 2:4 means everything taken together, except of course, that which is descended, which I believe means the pre-Adamic race.
      We will never get the people who hold an historical-grammatical view of the Bible on our side unless we come to the truth about human origins. Without these folks, we will never reach many people with the message that the Bible does not oppose true science. How many people don’t even consider the truth of Christianity because they believe that it contradicts evolution, let alone search into it? How many of these people would it take to make our effort worth while?
      Thanks for this opportunity to share with you.
      Gary

      Well that is my comment to Perry. Personally, I think that most likely the visitors from space are fallen angels. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about the question; just go the other way if you see a flying saucer and don’t believe anything they say.

      May the Lord bless you.

      Gary

      • perrymarshall says:

        I believe that sin is transmitted by knowledge, not genetics, the same way salvation is. This is how it is possible for God to have revealed himself to Adam and Eve among a larger population of people. “And death spread to all men, for all sinned.”

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