The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis, Hermeneutics, and Human Origins

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ISBN: 9781601783776


Was Adam really a historical person, and can we trust the biblical story of human origins? Or is the story of Eden simply a metaphor, leaving scientists the job to correctly reconstruct the truth of how humanity began? Although the church currently faces these pressing questions—exacerbated as they are by scientific and philosophical developments of our age—we must not think that they are completely new. In The Quest for the Historical Adam, William VanDoodewaard recovers and assesses the teaching of those who have gone before us, providing a historical survey of Genesis commentary on human origins from the patristic era to the present. Reacquainting the reader with a long line of theologians, exegetes, and thinkers, VanDoodewaard traces the roots, development, and, at times, disappearance of hermeneutical approaches and exegetical insights relevant to discussions on human origins. This survey not only informs us of how we came to this point in the conversation but also equips us to recognize the significance of the various alternatives on human origins.

 Table of Contents:




  1. Finding Adam and His Origin in Scripture
  2. The Patristic and Medieval Quest for Adam
  3. Adam in the Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras
  4. Adam in the Enlightenment Era
  5. Adam in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
  6. The Quest for Adam: From the 1950s to the Present
  7. What Difference Does It Make? 

Epilogue: Literal Genesis and Science?




About the Author 

William VanDoodewaard is professor of church History at puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and serves as a minister at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 157 × 33 mm

VanDoodewaard, William, (Author)

Publication Summary

Reformation Heritage Books (2015), 400 pages

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