Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Quality Trivia

I was perusing the book Fabulous Fallacies by Tad Tuleja this evening and I came across this bit of Bible trivia. It isn’t terribly revisionist or controversial, but it throws a new notion onto a story that we think we know well. The question addressed is, “In the Bible, what was the first man’s name?” Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Tuleja’s answer:

. . . The word adham in Hebrew means “man,” and most Biblical scholars agree that it is to be read as a generic, not a proper, name. There are few places in the Old Testament where the word can reasonably be interpreted as a personal name, and according to The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, this was not accidental: ‘The choice of the generic term indicates the intention of the biblical writers to portray, not just the story of one man, but the universal story of mankind.’ . . .”

This is not, to be sure, the last word on the subject, but for me, it serves the valuable purpose of helping to bring the ancient past to life by making an honest attempt to inhabit the minds of the flesh and blood people who laid the foundations of the world we are briefly inhabiting.

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