(1.) Heb 'Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The name is derived from a word meaning "to be red," and thus the first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Ge 1:26-27; 5:2; 8:21; De 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo and the Greek anthropos (Mt 5:13,16). It denotes also man in opposition to woman (Ge 3:12; Mt 19:10).
(2.) Heb 'ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes properly a man in opposition to a woman (1Sa 17:33; Mt 14:21); a husband (Ge 3:16; Ho 2:16); man with reference to excellent mental qualities.
Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is generically different from all other creatures (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7). His complex nature is composed of two elements, two distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Ge 2:7; Ec 12:7; 2Co 5:1-8).
The words translated "spirit" and "soul," in 1Th 5:23; Heb 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Mt 10:28; 16:26; 1Pe 1:22). The "spirit" (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as rational; the "soul" (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body.
Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of his nature, in knowledge (Col 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph 4:24), and as having dominion over all the inferior creatures (Ge 1:28). He had in his original state God's law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his integrity (Ge 3:1-6). (See Fall of man.)
(See ADAM; CIVILIZATION; CREATION .) Hebrew "Aadam," from a root "ruddy" or fair, a genetic term. "iysh," "man noble and brave". "Geber," "a mighty man, war-like hero", from gabar, "to be strong". "nowsh" (from 'aanash, "sick, diseased"), "wretched man": "what is "wretched man" (nowsh) that Thou shouldest be mindful of him?" (Ps 8:4; Job 15:14.) "methim," "mortal men"; Isa 41:14, "fear not ... ye men (mortals few and feeble though ye be, methey) of Israel." In addition to the proofs given in the above articles that man's civilization came from God at the first, is the fact that no creature is so helpless as man in his infancy.
The instincts of lower animals are perfect at first, the newborn lamb turns at once from the mother's breast to the grass; but by man alone are the wants of the infant, bodily and mental, supplied until he is old enough to provide for himself. Therefore, if Adam had come into the world as a child he could not have lived in it. Not by the natural law of evolution, but by the Creator's special interposition, man came into the world, the priest of nature, to interpret her inarticulate language and offer conscious adoration before God. As Adam's incarnation was the crowning miracle of nature, so Christ's incarnation is the crowning miracle of grace; He represents man before God, as man represents nature, not by ordinary descent but by the extraordinary operation of the Holy Spirit. Not a full grown man as Adam; but, in order to identify Himself with our weakness, a helpless infant.
The Bible is concerned with man only from the religious standpoint, with his relation to God. This article will deal only with the religious estimate of man, as other matters which might have been included will be found in other articles (Creation, Eschatology, Fall, Sin, Psychology). Man's dignity, as made by special resolve and distinct act of God in God's image and likeness (synonymous terms), with dominion over the other creatures, and for communion with God, as asserted in the double account of his Creation in Ge 1; 2, and man's degradation by his own choice of evil, as presented figuratively in the story of his Fall in Ge 3, are the two aspects of man that are everywhere met with. The first is explicitly affirmed in Ps 8, an echo of Ge 1; the second, without any explicit reference to the story in Ge 3, is taken for granted in the OT (see esp. Ps 51), and is still more emphasized in the NT, with distinct allusion to the Fall and its consequences (see esp. Ro 5:12-21; 7:7-25). While the OT recognizes man's relation to the world around him, his materiality and frailty as 'flesh' (wh. see), and describes him as 'dust and ashes' in comparison with God (Ge 2:7; 3:19; 18:27), yet as made in God's image it endows him with reason, conscience, affection, free will. Adam is capable of recognizing the qualities of, and so of naming, the living creatures (Ge 2:19), cannot find a help meet among them (Ge 2:20), is innocent (Ge 2:25), and capable of moral obedience (Ge 2:16-17) and religious communion (Ge 3:9-10). The Spirit of God is in man not only as life, but also as wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, skill and courage (see Inspiration). The Divine immanence in man as the Divine providence for man is affirmed (Pr 20:27).
In the NT man's dignity is represented as Divine sonship. In St. Luke's Gospel Adam is described as 'son of God' (Lu 3:38). St. Paul speaks of man as 'the image and glory of God' (1Co 11:7), approves the poet's words, 'we also are his offspring,' asserts the unity of the race, and God's guidance in its history (Ac 17:26-28). In his argument in Romans regarding universal sinfulness, he assumes that even the Gentiles have the law of God written in their hearts, and thus can exercise moral judgment on themselves and others (Ro 2:15). Jesus' testimony to the Fatherhood of God, including the care and bounty in Providence as well as the grace in Redemption, has as its counterpart His estimate of the absolute worth of the human soul (see Mt 10:30; 16:26; Lu 10:20,15). While God's care and bounty are unlimited, yet Jesus does seem to limit the title 'child or son of God' to those who have religious fellowship and seek moral kinship with God (see Mt 5:9,45; cf. Joh 1:12). St. Paul's doctrine of man's adoption by faith in God's grace does not contradict the teaching of Jesus. The writer of Hebrews sees the promise of man's dominion in Ps 8 fulfilled only in Christ (Heb 2:8-9). Man's history, according to the Fourth Evangelist, is consummated in the Incarnation (Joh 1:14).
The Bible estimate of man's value is shown in its anticipation of his destiny
Various Hebrew words are frequently translated 'man.'
1. Adam, 'man,' a generic term for man, mankind. Ge 1:26-27.
4. ben, 'son,' with words conjoined, 'son of valour,' or valiant man; 'son of strength,' or strong man. 2Ki 2:16, etc.
In some passages these different Hebrew words are used in contrast: as in Ge 6:4, "The sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, 1 and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men (gibbor) which were of old, men 3 of renown." In Ps 8:4; "What is man, 3 that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, 1 that thou visitest him?" "God is not a man 2 that he should lie." Nu 23:19.
Man was God's crowning work of creation (see ADAM), and He set him in dominion over the sphere in which he was placed. It is impossible that man could by evolution have arisen from any of the lower forms of created life. God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, and man is responsible to Him as his Creator; and for this reason he will be called to account, which is not the case with any of the animals. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement." Heb 9:27. All have descended from Adam and Eve: God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord or God." Ac 17:26-27.
The soul of man being immortal, he still exists after death, and it is revealed in scripture that his body will be raised, and he will either be in eternity away from God in punishment for the sins he has committed; or, by the grace of God, be in an eternity of happiness with the Lord Jesus through His atoning work on the cross.
In the N.T. the principal words are
1. nqrwpo" -->????????, man in the sense of 'humanity,' irrespective of sex. "Man shall not live by bread alone." Mt 4:4. In a few places it is used in a stricter sense in contrast to a woman: as "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" Mt 19:3.
2. ????, man as distinguished from a woman. "The head of the woman is the man." 1Co 11:3. It is thus the common word used for 'husband:' a woman's man is her husband. "Joseph the husband of Mary." Mt 1:16,19. The words ???, ??????, ??????, are often translated 'man,' 'no man,' 'any man,' which would be more correctly translated 'one,' 'no one,' 'any one.' In 'men and brethren,' Ac 1:16; 2:29, etc., there are not two classes alluded to, but 'men who are brethren,' or, in our idiom, simply 'brethren.' So in Ac 7:2; 22:1, not three classes, but two: 'men who are brethren, and fathers.' See NEW MAN and OLD MAN.
Four Hebrew terms are rendered "man" in the Authorized Version:
1. Adam, the name of the man created in the image of God. It appears to be derived from adam, "he or it was red or ruddy," like Edom. This was the generic term for the human race.
2. Ish, "man," as distinguished from woman, husband.
3. Geber, "a man," from gabar, "to be strong," generally with reference to his strength.
4. Methim, "men," always masculine. Perhaps it may be derived from the root muth, "he died."