Fixing up 1 Cor 15:47-48

Literally] The first man [ever

Was Paul talking in types and federal heads or teaching biology with the reference to Adam?  Biology say the literalists.  The jump from literal history to spiritual needs clarification.  Of course old earth creationists need extra fixes.  They think Adam is literally and historically the first man of this creation.  The Bible inconveniently doesn’t mention these creations, nor does the geological record.  They believe there were men before Adam in these other creations.  So Adam is the first one this time.  Complicated for first and fundamental principles hey?

1 thought on “Fixing up 1 Cor 15:47-48

  1. Bruce Philp

    Or was he talking about the Lord Jesus the whole time? – referring to Adam, of course, but talking about Jesus? As F. F. Bruce writes:

    While Paul had no doubt about the personal identity of the earthly Jesus and the heavenly Christ, he equally had no doubt that the heavenly Christ’s mode of existence was different from that of the earthly Jesus. When he affirms that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” 1 Corinthians 15:50 — i.e., the resurrection order — he makes it plain that this is as true of the Lord as of his people. The earthly Jesus was a man of woman born who endured a real death; but the risen Christ, while still man, was now vested with heavenly humanity, a different order of humanity from that of this present life. “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:47. While the creation narrative of Genesis 2:7 tells how “the first man, Adam, became a living soul,” the character of the new creation is disclosed in the affirmation that “the last Adam became a life-giving spirit” 1 Corinthians 15:45. The risen Christ, for Paul, exists no longer in a body of flesh and blood but in a “spiritual body” 1 Corinthians 15:44.

    — F. F. Bruce, Christ and the Spirit of Paul, BJRL 59 (1976-77), pp.259-285



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