1 Corinthians 15:47

“The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.”

A large proportion of Paul’s teaching seems to be predicated on the literal truth of the early chapters of Genesis.

In Romans 5, Paul draws a parallel between Adam and Jesus. He writes: “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Romans 5 makes clear that Jesus came to destroy sin and death, showing that both of these came into the world through Adam. The link made is so strong that it is clear that the fact of Adam’s existence is being assumed by Paul.

Peter Enns of BioLogos admits that Paul assumed the historicity of Adam. He says that he would expect nothing less of Paul, who was an ancient man writing to ancient people. He even goes on to say that it is okay that Paul got this wrong.

Paul returned to this same theme in 1 Corinthians 15:47, stating that “the first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.” And in 1 Timothy 2:13, he states that both Adam and Eve were created by God.

There is a serious theological problem if the Apostle Paul could have been mistaken about the historicity of Adam when he was writing his scriptural epistles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul could not have got this wrong because to believe that undermines all the rest of his teaching.

 Prayer: Father, we thank You that, though we inherited a sinful nature from our ancestor Adam, You did not leave us in sin, but made a way of salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2011), Does the “New Perspective on Paul” Undermine a Historical Adam, < https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/does-the-new-perspective-on-paul-undermine-a-historical-adam/ >, accessed 8/27/2018. Image: Raphael, St. Paul Preaching in Athens (1515), Public Domain image.