on 1-corinthians 15 :45
The first man Adam was made a living soul - These forms of expression are also common among the Jews: hence we find אדם הראשון Adam harishon, "Adam the first;" and אדם קדמאי Adam kadmai, " Adam the last." They assert that there are two Adams: 1. The mystical heavenly Adam; and 2. The mystical earthly Adam. See Sohar Exod., fol. 29; and the several examples in Schoettgen. The apostle says this is written: The first man Adam was made a living soul: this is found Genesis 2:7, in the words נשמת חיים nishmath chaiyim, the breath of lives; which the apostle translates ψυχην ζωσαν, a living soul.
The last Adam - a quickening spirit - This is also said to be written; but where, says Dr. Lightfoot, is this written in the whole sacred book? Schoettgen replies, In the very same verse, and in these words: ויהי האדם לנפש חיה vayehi ha - Adam lėnephesh chaiyah, and Adam became a living soul; which the apostle translates πνευμα ζωοποιουν, a quickening, or life-giving spirit. Among the cabalistic Jews נפש nephesh is considered as implying greater dignity than נשמה nishma. The former may be considered as pointing out the rational, the latter the sensitive soul. All these references to Jewish opinions and forms of speech the apostle uses to convince them that the thing was possible; and that the resurrection of the body was generally credited by all their wise and learned men. The Jews, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, speak frequently of the Spirit of the Messiah; and they allow that it was this Spirit that moved on the face of the waters, Genesis 1:2. And they assert that the Messiah shall quicken those who dwell in the dust.
"It ought not to be passed by," says the same author, "that Adam, receiving from God the promise of Christ - The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent, and believing it, named his wife חוה Chauvah, that is, life; so the Septuagint, και εκαλεσεν Αδαμ το ονονα της γυναικος αυτου Ζωη· And Adam called the name of his wife, Life. What! Is she called Life that brought death into the world? But Adam perceived τον εσχατον Αδαμ, the last Adam exhibited to him in the promise, to be πνευμα ζωο, ποιουν, a quickening or life-giving spirit; and had brought in a better life of the soul; and should at last bring in a better life of the body. Hence is that saying, John 1:4 : Εν αυτῳ ζωη ην, In Him was Life." Some contend that the first Adam and the last Adam mean the same person in two different states: the first man with the body of his creation; the same person with the body of his resurrection. See on 1 Corinthians 15:49 (note).
on 1-corinthians 15 :45
And so it is written, - Genesis 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 Septuagint, 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" (ἐγένετο εις ψυκὴν ζωσαν egeneto eis psuchēn zōsan - in Hebrew, נפשׁ חיה nephesh chayaah is, became a living, animated being; a being endowed with life. The use of the word "soul" in our translation, for ψυχὴ psuchē, and נפשׁ 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 the note on 1 Corinthians 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 Genesis 2:7, and that it is the image of this animated or vital being which we bear, 1 Corinthians 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 Corinthians 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 special relations to the race; and in this respect they were "the first" and "the last" in the special economy. The name "Adam" is not elsewhere given to the Messiah, though a comparison is several times instituted between him and Adam. (See the Supplementary Note on 1 Corinthians 15:22; also Romans 5:12, note.)
A quickening spirit - (εἰς πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν eis pneuma zōopoioun. 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 the note at John 1:4; note at John 5:26, "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." 1 Corinthians 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 imparting 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" (Πνεῦμα 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 Romans 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18. The apostle does not here affirm 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.
on 1-corinthians 15 :45
15:45 The first Adam was made a living soul - God gave him such life as other animals enjoy: but the last Adam, Christ, is a quickening spirit - As he hath life in himself, so he quickeneth whom he will; giving a more refined life to their very bodies at the resurrection. Gen 2:7