A Response to J. I. Packer’s Position on Women’s Ordination
Grace Ying May and Hyunhye Pokrifka Joe
- In the Garden, God made man and woman as one flesh, one collective entity, and referred to them as such.(42) Romans 5 understands the “adam” (Hebrew) of 5:14 as the one “anthropos” (Greek for “humankind”, see also 5:12,19; 1 Cor 15:21)43 through whose one offense (Rom 5:15-18) sin entered into the world. In the above passage, both “adam” and “anthropos” refer to male and female as one entity. Adam was created as male and female: They were created to be one flesh (Gen 2:24), and they sinned as one flesh, committing one collective offense.
As the creation of humankind (adam) was complete when the woman was formed, so was the transgression complete when the man sinned. In Genesis 3:22 and 23, God similarly refers to Adam and Eve as one entity: “The adam [human kind=Adam and Eve] has become as one of us . . . lest he put forth his hand . . . God sent him out of the garden to till the adama(44) out of which he was taken. And [God] drove the adam out” (italics ours). Reading adam as a proper noun for the male would lead to the conclusion that Eve was never driven out of the Garden! Instead, we conclude that Adam and Eve were driven out together and that the adam in Genesis 3:22-23 is a collective noun.
In short, the “adam” of Romans 5:14 refers not to the first male person, but to both the first man and woman. Therefore, Christ, who represents the whole human race, comes as anthropos. “For since death is through anthropos, also through anthropos is a resurrection of the dead, for in adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor 15:21)