Adam Not An Individual?

For those who believe that Adam is a term representing humanity and not an individual person:

Luke 3:23-38
As He began His ministry, Jesus was about 30 years old and was thought to be the son of Joseph, son of Heli, 24 son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph, 25 son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai, 26 son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda, 27 son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri, 28 son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er, 29 son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi, 30 son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim, 31 son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David, 32 son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Salmon, son of Nahshon, 33 son of Amminadab, son of Ram, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah, 34 son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor, 35 son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah, 36 son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech, 37 son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan, 38 son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.

Is Luke naming individuals, then when he gets to Adam he’s talking about humanity, then back to an individual?

13 Responses to “Adam Not An Individual?”

  1. 1 Matteo

    The writer of Luke may have believed this, yes. But does that mean we need to believe everything that a first century jewish person believed?

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    I think we should believe what he meant and if the readers/hearers took it that way I would think that is what he meant, if he thought the same way they did. I see no reason why he would have meant it that way though.

  3. 3 Matteo

    So we do need to have a first century middle east mindset to “believe”. That does require we not believe in anything else. I don’t accept that. I believe wholeheartedly in Jesus and in God. I don’t necessarily believe in everything that is written in the Bible the same way that those who wrote it believe. My belief in Jesus is deeper than his genealogy, which I do accept.

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    I’m not quite sure what that means.

    Maybe I should say that we should be aware of what the first century believers were aware of but I would say that I believe everything that God meant for them (the inspired writers) to say and that the Bible is preserved just as God appointed it to be and that I believe all that it teaches and says within its appropriate genre. I’m not good at statements of faith like that so take it with a grain of whatever your condiment of choice is.

  5. 5 Matteo

    I meant basically that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. I don’t worry much about whether anything happened or not in the Bible, other than Him incarnating to this world and being resurrected. The accounts recorded are more significant than factual events.

  6. 6 Scripture Zealot

    I just found this, where you may agree with Peter Enns. I don’t expect you to read it. I hate it when people tell me how to spend my time. Just passing it along. It’s biased to my point of view.

  7. 7 THEOparadox

    Good call, Jeff. It’s clear that the Biblical writers not only believed, but also purposefully wrote into the Scriptures a non-negotiable belief in a literal individual named Adam who was the head of the human race (federally and physically). Any attempt to deny this is a direct assault on the Gospel, which includes the belief that all mankind is under a curse resulting from the disobedience of that literal individual named Adam. It is also an insult to the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the words of the apostles and prophets. Did He lead them to write things untrue? Non-factual? Errant? God forbid we should even entertain such a thought.

    I’m sure I don’t believe EVERYTHING that Luke and Paul believed (in fact it’s not even possible that they believed exactly the same things). But when it comes to the matters about which the Holy Spirit of God (an inerrant witness!) led them to write, I can only bow my intellect before HIS perfect and pure wisdom. There they certainly agree, and there I must agree. The sophistry of Peter Enns and his many disciples is a path leading directly away from the cross. I would urge any of those walking on it to repent and turn back to the God who breathed out His infallible Words through fallible men. Just as Jesus was fully God and fully man yet sinless, Scripture itself is fully divine and fully human yet inerrant. To deny this is blasphemy.

    Your exegesis is sound, Jeff. Any gospel divorced from historical accuracy is not. The idea that one can “believe” in Scripture without believing in the historical reliability of Scripture is a postmodern fantasy that will drift away like paper and fire when the next big philosophical framework hits Western society (will it be post-postmodernism or neo-postmodernism? Or a move back to some form of modernism?). Either way, whoever has bought a ticket on the train of humanity’s best philosophy is going to get a bumpy ride when REALITY comes to light. Because REALITY comports with the Word of God. All men are like grass . . . but the Word of the Lord endures forever.

    Therefore, let us reject modernism and postmodernism and whatever comes next, along with all human philosophy. Why? Because God has graciously told us that the very first and very best mere-human-being He made fell into sin – mind, body and soul. We are the sad progeny of that individual, following pitiably in his accursed footsteps (and thought patterns). This is why we trust the testimony of God in all respects and test everything by it. Ironically, the denial of Adam’s existence is just a furtherance the disaster he started.


  8. 8 Matteo

    Thanks for the link. I’ve read it. I love DA Carson and look forward to reading more of him in the future. He makes a great point from his fundamentalist perspective. I don’t necessarily agree with him, though. I am not a fan of Kevin DeYoung. I wasted some money on one of his books which I thought would be more interesting – about choosing your path in life – don’t recall the title – and his point was basically get married and have more kids. For me, whenever people use the term “historical” because I live in the 21st Century and have a modern mindset, I expect more proof – especially when it comes to Biblical things. I have read a lot of the works from the historical jesus (both sides of the debate) and after all that is said, neither side can prove their viewpoint. Jesus is more than history for me. So, like I said, I believe in what the Bible says, but not because it’s history or fact. I don’t believe in Jesus because he was born of a virgin and I don’t think there is “evidence” for it. There’s no need for evidence. You believe it or you don’t. I don’t believe in that, in the incarnation, in the resurrection – the bodily and the spiritual – because it’s reasonable. It’s not, which is why I believe in it. It’s more real than fiction and more real than history. I read fiction to pass the time in between reading spiritual books and don’t spend much time talking about Gandalf, Ebenezer Scrooge, Captain Ahab, Tom Sawyer, or the rest of any fictitious characters. But Adam, Eve, Noah, Enoch…all the way down to Jesus and Paul, all of them are in my mind and heart all the time. They belong to something more than history for me. They are my family.

  9. 9 Matteo

    I meant that I do believe in the incarnation, resurrection, etc.

  10. 10 Matteo

    Derek, sorry you think I’m deluding myself. Odd that you pass judgment on me without knowing me.

  11. 11 THEOparadox


    Odd that you think I’m passing judgment on you. My comments were directed toward Jeff and other readers for their encouragement and edification. We have some history in this discussion. Your comments weren’t the primary subject; I also had in mind several previous exchanges with mutual acquaintances. However, if you find yourself indicted, please avail yourself of the grace to turn.

    It’s wonderful if you think Bible’s historical accounts contain more than mere history. All Christians can agree there. But it’s a smear on the character of the God of our Lord Jesus Christ if anyone thinks the Bible’s historical accounts are less than historical. Can you imagine God thinking, “I want to get the true spiritual message across in the Bible . . . I think I’ll couch it in historical inaccuracies.”?

    One other thought: do we need to know someone personally to know that they have spoken or written an untruth? Lies are lies and truth is truth. If you state that the Bible is less than historically accurate, I am going to reply that you have denied a core truth of the Christian faith. It’s not personal at all. It’s identifying a false proposition and the consequences or implications that go with it.

    My earnest and sincere hope for you personally is that you are a genuine believer who doesn’t know any better and has simply misstepped. You wouldn’t be the first. In our day, the social and cultural pressure to compromise on these points is huge. Almost impossible to withstand. Perhaps it’s a partial fulfillment of 2 Thess 2:11.


  12. 12 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you Derek. Great comments as always. I especially like this.

    “I’m sure I don’t believe EVERYTHING that Luke and Paul believed (in fact it’s not even possible that they believed exactly the same things). But when it comes to the matters about which the Holy Spirit of God (an inerrant witness!) led them to write, I can only bow my intellect before HIS perfect and pure wisdom.”

  13. 13 Scripture Zealot

    Also Matteo, D.A. Carson would be classified as Reformed as opposed to fundamentalist. Very different things, even though fundamentalism is a very wide term and means different things throughout the last 100 years.

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