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Adam and Israel

The latest post by Peter Enns explores the connection between Adam’s story and the story of Israel, and in the process explains where Cain got his wife:

Look at it this way. The word “adam” is ambiguous in Genesis. Every commentator notes that sometimes “adam” represents humanity (so I will use the lower case); other times it is the name “Adam” (upper case) representing one man. What does this back and forth mean? It means that Adam is a special subset of adam.

The character “Adam” is the focus of the story because he is the part of “adam” that God is really interested in. There is “adam” outside of Eden (in Nod), but inside of Eden, which is God’s focus, there is only “Adam”—the one with which he has a unique relationship.

The question in Genesis is whether “Adam” will be obedient to “the law” and stay in Eden, thus continuing this special relationship, or join the other “adam” outside in “exile.” This is the same question with Israel: after being “created” by God, will they obey and remain in the land, or disobey and be exiled?

I’m still perturbed, however, that nobody ever  seems to worry about where Seth got his wife!



  1. Isn’t there a text at Nag Hammadi about Seth’s wife Stella?

    (rim shot and groans at the awful pun)


  2. Although I still lean toward far more literal interpretations of a lot of passages than most people are comfortable with, I like reading things outside of the box. But today when I followed your link to the latest biologos post, I was quite unhappy with the way Peter Enns played hard and fast with the facts on Genesis. I felt somewhat compelled to write a rebuttal (not trying to prove that Genesis ought to be taken literally, but just arguing that Peter Enns’ methods of getting to his conclusion were flawed). I did this partially because I didn’t want to post too large a comment, so here it is if you’re interested in an opposed view: http://fontwords.com/2010/03/02/is-adam-israel-maybe-but-peter-enns-of-biologos-doesnt-do-a-favor-to-the-theory


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