Editor's Note: We offer this stimulating article to our readers because the central topic may relate to conclusions in harmony with the developing Covenant Creation paradigm.
Jerel Kratt presented a similar approach, argued entirely from the New Testament, in his presentations at the 2009 Preterist Pilgrim Weekend hosted by Don K Preston in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Also, the 2009 Covenant Creation Conference highlighted the distinction between land and sea in Genesis 1 as related to the covenant jurisdiction between Hebrews and Gentiles rather than a literal description of the physical universe. The significance is that Adam is clearly presented in context with the land in Genesis 1-3. In short, we believe this position merits serious consideration in the future of the Covenant Creation movement.
As you read this article by Pete Enns, consider the connections not only between Adam and Israel, but also Adam and Abraham. Adam was tempted by his wife and fell. Likewise, Abraham underwent a temptation event orchestrated by his wife (Gen. 16) and fell. Adam had a "deep sleep" experience as did Abraham. Adam is discussed in close proximity to gold. The next mention of gold in Genesis occurs in the Abraham story (Gen. 13:2). These connections between Adam and Abraham (there are others, too) only strengthen the central concept presented by Peter Enns.
The post-article discussion is well-worth the time to consider as well. Quality discussion from this wide assortment of serious Genesis students is very rare on the web.
Adam is Israel
By Pete Enns
...It also helps us look at the Adam story from an angle that might be new to some readers here: Adam is the beginning of Israel, not humanity...
If we see Adam as a story of Israelite origins, it will help
us make sense of at least one nagging question that begins in Genesis
4:13—one that readers of Genesis, past and present, have picked up on.
After Cain kills Abel, he is afraid of a posse coming after him, which
casually presumes the existence of other people. So God puts a mark on
Cain and exiles him to Nod, a populated city to the east. There he
takes a wife and they have a child, Enoch, and Cain proceeds to build a
city, named after his son, in which others can live...
If the Adam story is about the first humans, the presence of other
humans outside of Eden is out of place. We are quite justified in
concluding that the Adam story is not about absolute human origins but the beginning of one smaller subset, one particular people.
The parallels between Israel and Adam that we see above tell us that
the particular people in mind are Israel. Adam is “proto-Israel.”...
Having said all this let me take a step or two back. I am not saying
that this is ALL there is to the Adam story. There are all sorts of
angles one can take to get at that extremely rich and deep piece of
theology. But the “Adam is Israel” angle is at the very least a very
good one—and in my opinion a much better angle than seeing Adam as the
first human and all humans are descended from him. Genesis does not
support that reading.
This “Israel-centered” reading of Adam is not a stretch. It is
widely recognized, not only in modern scholarship, but by pre-modern