Questions about the creation account and about the theological role of the person Adam are front and center today. Most importantly are questions that ask about the relationship of Adam as a historical person to his theological significance. Does Adam have to be real to be a factor and can theological claims based premised on him be taken seriously if he is not in fact real?
In Adam in the New Testament J.P. Versteeg examines Adam's historical importance to the New Testament writer's while explaining the key issues in the debate and showing how a rejection of the historical Adam has far reaching consequences for Christian faith.
One challenge to biblical authority is our understanding of Adam. Freshly translated, this acknowledged modern classic defends the historic church position that all human beings descend from Adam as the first human being
Among [this works] many virtues let me mention two. First, Versteeg stresses clearly that Pauls arguments in Romans and 1 Corinthians depend upon historical sequence...both Adam and Jesus acted as representatives. Second, our view of Adam is bound up with our view of sin: is it an intruder into Gods good world (the traditional position), or is it a necessary part of the creation (which denial of historical Adam entails)? Anyone reading this will appreciate that contemporary discussions of Adam are still treading the same ground.
-C. John Collins,
Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary.
Given the recent debates about the existence of Adam, this vigorous defense of historical Adam is relevant now as it was when first published in Dutch. The exegetical and theological issues remain the same today. Versteeg shows with vigor and cogency that the New Testaments teaching requires a historical Adam, and his defense deserves the attention of all who are interested in the question.
Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Westminster Seminary
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