28 April 2010

Beale (3): One Adam after Another

The first Adam should have obeyed and subdued the entire earth, but he did not.

After the flood, Noah was commissioned to subdue the earth, but he had his own 'fall' in a garden-like environment, also in connection with the image of nakedness.

Subsequently, God creates a corporate Adam, Israel, who was to be obedient to God in the promised land, which the OT refers to repeatedly as 'like the garden of Eden.' They were to go out from the promised land and subdue the rest of the earth. Appropriately, Israel was called by Adamic names, like 'Son of Adam (Man)' and 'Son of God.' Israel had her 'fall' at the golden calf episode, the effects of which were devastating for the nation's destiny. Instead of subduing the earth, she was subdued by it.

Lastly, God raises up another individual Adamic figure, Jesus Christ, who finally does what Adam should have done, and so he inaugurates a new creation which will not be corrupted but find its culmination in a new heavens and earth. And his names 'Son of God' and 'Son of Man' also allude to him, not only as the Last Adam, but also as true Israel.

--G. K. Beale, 'The Eschatological Conception of New Testament Theology,' in The Reader Must Understand: Eschatology in Bible and Theology (IVP 1997)

1 comment:

Gavin Ortlund said...

Wow! Great quote. Really corresponds to a lot of what I have been thinking about re. the image of God across the canon. I have yet to read this article since you sent it to me, but I look forward to getting into it.