Meet Adam: The First Man and Father of the Human Race

Adam Bible Figure
God's Curse by James Tissot. SuperStock / Getty Images

Adam was the first man on earth and the father of the human race. God formed him from the earth, and for a short time, Adam lived alone. He arrived on the planet with no childhood, no parents, no family, and no friends. Perhaps it was Adam's loneliness that moved God to quickly present him with a companion, Eve.

Key Bible Verses

  • Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7, ESV)
  • For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22, NIV)

The Story of Adam in the Bible

The creation of Adam and Eve is found in two separate biblical accounts. The first, in Genesis 1:26–31, shows the couple and their relationship with God and the rest of creation. The second account, in Genesis 2:4–3:24, reveals the origin of sin and God's plan for redeeming the human race.

Before God created Eve, he gave Adam the Garden of Eden and allowed him to name the animals. Paradise was his to enjoy, but he also had full responsibility of taking care of it. Adam knew that one tree was off-limits, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam would have taught Eve God's rules of the garden. She would have known it was forbidden to eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. When Satan tempted her, Eve was deceived.

Then Eve offered the fruit to Adam, and the fate of the world was on his shoulders. As they ate the fruit, in that one act of rebellion, mankind's independence and disobedience (a.k.a., sin) separated him from God.

The Origin of Sin

Through Adam’s transgression, sin entered the human race. But the matter did not stop there. By that first sin—called the Fall of Man—Adam became a servant of sin. His fall placed a permanent mark on all humankind, affecting not only Adam but all of his descendants. 

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12, CSB)

But God had a plan already in place to deal with man's sin. The Bible tells the story of God's plan for the salvation of man. Adam's one act brought condemnation and punishment, but Jesus Christ's one act, would bring salvation:

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18–19, NLT)

Accomplishments of Adam in the Bible

God chose Adam to name the animals, making him the first zoologist. He was also the first landscaper and horticulturist, responsible to work the garden and care for the plants. He was the first man and the father of all humankind. He was the only man without a mother and a father.

Strengths

Adam was made in the image of God and shared a close relationship with his Creator.

Weaknesses

Adam neglected his God-given responsibility. He blamed Eve and made excuses for himself when he committed a sin. Rather than admit his error and face the truth, he hid from God in shame.

Life Lessons

Adam's story shows us that God wants his followers to freely choose to obey him and submit to him out of love. We also learn that nothing we do is hidden from God. Likewise, there is no benefit to us when we blame others for our own failings. We must accept personal responsibility.

Hometown

Adam began his life in the Garden of Eden but was later expelled by God.

References to Adam in the Bible

Genesis 1:26-5:5; 1 Chronicles 1:1; Luke 3:38; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; 1 Timothy 2:13-14.

Occupation

Gardener, farmer, grounds keeper.

Family Tree

Wife - Eve
Sons - Cain, Abel, Seth and many more children.