Name of the first man


#1

To monogenism evolution theory supporters: What’s the name of the first man? Do you believe it’s “Adam”? or “Adam” is just a symbolic name never carried by the first man?


#2

[quote=abcdefg]To monogenism evolution theory supporters: What’s the name of the first man? Do you believe it’s “Adam”? or “Adam” is just a symbolic name never carried by the first man?
[/quote]

It is not a relevant question because Adam is just hebrew for “The Man” which is what is used in Scripture. Popular piety has given to the usage of Adam as his proper name since none other is found in Scripture.


#3

My view is there was an “Adam” and “Eve” (two historical individuals) but that wasn’t necessarily their literal names, also that much in Genesis 1-11 is symbolical/figurative/allegorical (the talking snake, etc), or “myth” (see John Paul II below). The Catechism simply calls them “our first parents, Adam and Eve” and “the first couple” and Adam is “the first man” without much explanation (359, 375-377, 379, 388, 390-392, etc).

HOWEVER, John Paul II in his “Theology of the Body” has much commentary on the early chapters of Genesis. These are dated September 1979 and were published in L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. As I understand it not infallible, but it does give this great Pope’s view of the matter.

From Biblical Account of Creation Analyzed

JOHN PAUL II: “From the point of view of biblical criticism, it is necessary to mention immediately that the first account of man’s creation is chronologically later than the second, whose origin is much more remote. This more ancient text is defined as ‘Yahwist’ because the term ‘Yahweh’ is used to name God. It is difficult not to be struck by the fact that the image of God presented there has quite considerable anthropomorphic traits. Among others, we read that ‘…the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life’ (Gn 2:7). In comparison with this description, the first account, that is, the one held to be chronologically later, is much more mature both as regards the image of God, and as regards the formulation of the essential truths about man. This account derives from the priestly and ‘Elohist’ tradition, from ‘Elohim,’ the term used in that account for God.”

Notice the references to critical scholarship (Yahwist, Elohist, etc) and the different creation accounts.

From The Second Account of Creation: The Subjective Definition of Man

JOHN PAUL II: “It can be said that it is a profundity that is of a nature particularly subjective, and therefore, in a certain sense, psychological. The second chapter of Genesis constitutes, in a certain manner, the most ancient description and record of man’s self-knowledge. Together with the third chapter it is the first testimony of human conscience. A reflection in depth on this text – through the whole archaic form of the narrative, which manifests its primitive mythical character (1) – provides us in nucleo with nearly all the elements of the analysis of man, to which modern, and especially contemporary philosophical anthropology is sensitive. It could be said that Genesis 2 presents the creation of man especially in its subjective aspect. Comparing both accounts, we conclude that this subjectivity corresponds to the objective reality of man created ‘in the image of God.’ This fact also is – in another way – important for the theology of the body, as we shall see in subsequent analyses.”

In this footnote (1) John Paul explains what he means by “mythical character” citing 19th and 20th century philosophers and theologians. He cites French philosopher/theologian Paul Ricoeur: “The Adamic myth is par excellence the anthropological myth. Adam means Man. But not every myth of the ‘primordial man’ is an ‘Adamic myth’ which…alone is truly anthropological…The myth, in naming Adam, man, makes explicit the concrete universality of human evil; the spirit of penitence is given in the Adamic myth the symbol of this universality.”

JOHN PAUL II: “The Bible calls the first human being ‘man’ ('adam), but from the moment of the creation of the first woman, it begins to call him ‘man’ (ish), in relation to ishshah (‘woman,’ because she was taken from the man – ish). (2)”

This footnote (2) reads: “As regards etymology, it is not excluded that the Hebrew term ish is derived from a root which signifies ‘strength’ (ish or wsh), whereas ishshah is linked to a series of Semitic terms whose meaning varies between ‘woman’ and ‘wife.’ The etymology proposed by the biblical text is of a popular character and serves to underline the unity of the origin of man and woman. This seems to be confirmed by the assonance of both terms.”

All I can say is that this great man was definitely NOT some protestant fundamentalist as many Catholics in here insist on being. He has a much more informed, critical, rational, scholarly as well as very spiritual understanding of Genesis. He does not treat it like a scientific textbook for the exact order or date of creation.

“Theology of the Body” by Pope John Paul II

Phil P


#4

Everything can’t be scientifically explained is mythical.

If you interpret Gen 12 literally. there’s a man named “Abram” and God called him so. however he’s mentioned Gen 11. Why don’t you take names of those associated with Abram literally?


#5

[quote=abcdefg]Everything can’t be scientifically explained is mythical.

If you interpret Gen 12 literally. there’s a man named “Abram” and God called him so. however he’s mentioned Gen 11. Why don’t you take names of those associated with Abram literally?
[/quote]

Because as already pointed out… Adam means human.


#6

[quote=Semper Fi]Because as already pointed out… Adam means human.
[/quote]

Exactly. For example, look at Gen. 2:15-16. The King James renders it as

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Both times that I emphasized “the man” the Hebrew reads “Adam.” Adam is just a transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “man.”

Eve is a corrupted form of the Hebrew. The Hebrew word is Chavvah which means “life-giver.” Think of the symbolism here. Mary, the second “life-giver” gave us life himself, Jesus.


#7

[quote=Semper Fi]Because as already pointed out… Adam means human.
[/quote]

There’s more than that. try to refute this

אדם 'ādām, “man, mankind;” “be red.” A collective noun, having no plural number, and therefore denoting either an individual of the kind, or the kind or race itself. It is connected in etymology with אדמה 'ădāmâh, “the red soil,” from which the human body was formed Gen_2:7. It therefore marks the earthly aspect of man.


#8

[quote=abcdefg]There’s more than that. try to refute this

אדם , “man, mankind;” “be red.” A collective noun, having no plural number, and therefore denoting either an individual of the kind, or the kind or race itself. It is connected in etymology with אדמה 'ădāmâh, “the red soil,” from which the human body was formed Gen_2:7. It therefore marks the earthly aspect of man.

[/quote]

Could you cite your source? I think it is incorrect. “be red” and “man” are to different words.אדם is the spelling of both, but they are different words. The vowel points show this to be true. “Man” has a qamas; “be red” either has a sey-rey or a cholem. The words do come from the same root, though (the root refers to making or producing).

Why does this need refuting? It bears witness to the creation account. No one said the creation account wasn’t true, just that it shouldn’t be taken literally.


#9

a Protestant bible commentary on KJV by Albert Barnes, a Presbyterian, as I have no Catholic Bible commentary.


#10

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