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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 15 - Verse 45
Verse 45. And so it is written. Ge 2:7. It is only the first part of the verse which is quoted.
The first man Adam was made a living soul. This is quoted exactly from the translation by the Seventy, except that the apostle has added the words "first" and "Adam." This is done to designate whom he meant. The meaning of the phrase "was made a living soul" (egeneto eiv quchn zwsan
in Hebrew), is, became a living, animated being; a being endowed with life. The use of the word "soul" in our translation, for quch and
HEBREW, (nephesh,) does not quite convey the idea. We apply the word soul, usually, to the intelligent and the immortal part of man; that which reasons, thinks, remembers, is conscious, is responsible, etc. The Greek and Hebrew words, however, more properly denote that which is alive, which is animated, which breathes, which has an animal nature. See Barnes "1 Co 15:44".
And this is precisely the idea which Paul uses here, that the first man was made an animated being by having breathed into him the breath of life, (Ge 2:7,) and that it is the image of this animated or vital being which we bear, 1 Co 15:48. Neither Moses nor Paul deny that, in addition to this, man was endowed with a rational soul, an immortal nature; but that is not the idea which they present in the passage in Genesis which Paul quotes.
The last Adam. The second Adam, or the "second man," 1 Co 15:47. That Christ is here intended is apparent, and has been usually admitted by commentators. Christ here seems to be called Adam because he stands in contradistinction from the first Adam; or because, as we derive our animal and dying nature from the one, so we derive our immortal and undying bodies from the other. From the one we derive an animal or vital existence; from the other we derive our immortal existence, and resurrection from the grave. The one stands at the head of all those who have an existence represented by the words, "a living soul;" the other of all those who shall have a spiritual body in heaven. He is called "the last Adam;" meaning that there shall be no other after him who shall affect the destiny of man in the same way, or who shall stand at the head of the race in a manner similar to what had been done by him and the first father of the human family. They sustain peculiar relations to the race; and in this respect they were "the first" and "the last" in the peculiar economy. The name "Adam" is not elsewhere given to the Messiah, though a comparison is several times instituted between him and Adam. See Ro 5:12-19.
A quickening spirit, eiv pneuma zwopoioun. A vivifying spirit; a spirit giving or imparting life. Not a being having mere vital functions, or an animated nature, but a being who has the power of imparting life. This is not a quotation from any part of the Scriptures, but seems to be used by Paul either as affirming what was true on his own apostolic authority, or as conveying the substance of what was revealed respecting the Messiah in the Old Testament. There may be also reference to what the Saviour himself taught, that he was the source of life; that he had the power of imparting life, and that he gave life to all whom he pleased. See Barnes "Joh 1:4"; See Barnes "Joh 5:26".
"For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;" 1 Co 15:21, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." The word "spirit," here applied to Christ, is in contradistinction from "a living being," as applied to Adam, and seems to be used in the sense of spirit of life, as raising the bodies of his people from the dead, and imputing life to them. He was constituted not as having life merely, but as endowed with the power of imparting life; as endowed with that spiritual or vital energy which was needful to impart life. All life is the creation or production of spirit, (pneuma;) as applied to God the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Spirit is the source of all vitality. God is a Spirit, and God is the source of all life. And the idea here is, that Christ had such a spiritual existence, such power as a spirit; that he was the source of all life to his people. The word spirit is applied to his exalted spiritual nature, in distinction from his human nature, in Ro 1:4; 1 Ti 3:16; 1 Pe 3:18.
The apostle does not here affix that he had not a human nature, or a vital existence as a man; but that his main characteristic in contradistinction from Adam was, that he was endowed with an elevated spiritual nature, which was capable of imparting vital existence to the dead.
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