Adam’s Dust and Adam’s Glory in the Hodayot and the Letters of Paul

Rethinking Anthropogony and Theology


In Adam’s Dust and Adam’s Glory, Nicholas A. Meyer challenges the scholarly reconstruction of a traditional theological framework of creation, fall, and restoration in order to comprehend the pessimistic anthropologies of the Hodayot and the letters of Paul. Meyer argues that too little notice has been paid to the fact that this literature problematizes ordinary humanity by way of original humanity—its sexuality, its earthly physicality, its spiritual-moral frailty—and that these texts look not for the restoration of human nature as determined in creation, but rather for its transformation. Setting aside the traditional threefold framework, the author offers an innovative and comprehensive reading of the use of traditions of anthropogony, including the glory of Adam and the image of God, in this literature.

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Biographical Note

Nicholas A. Meyer, Ph.D. (2013), McMaster University, is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College in London, ON, Canada where he teaches biblical languages.

Review Quotes

'The book covers an enormous amount of ground (...) as a comprehensive challenge to imposing a creatiion-fall-restoration hermeneutic on these ancient texts it must be considered a success.'
- Steve Moyise, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 40 (5), 2018.

'(...) sa démonstration (...) est menée de manière la fois nuancée, rigoureuse et méthodique.'
Ch. Grappe, Revue des Livres 97, 2017.

'Meyer's study is careful and creative as he provides close readings of the relevant texts. (...) M's work deserves careful assessment and further discussion.'
Jason Maston, Houston Baptist University, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Table of contents


1 Introduction
The Questions
The Comparison, Its Rationale
Issues of Anthropogony in the Hodayot
Issues of Anthropogony in Paul
Looking Forward

2 Adam’s Dust and Adam’s Glory: Dichotomizing Anthropogonies in the Hodayot
Matters of Introduction and Method
Creation and the Divine Plan
Anthropogony: Adam’s Dust
Anthropogony: Adam’s Glory
Adam’s Glory and Eden’s Pleasures
The Anthropology of Glory and the Self-Glorification Psalm

3 Adam and the Image of God: Anthropogony outside Romans
Male and Female No Longer: Galatians 3:28
The Gendered Image of God: 1 Corinthians 11:7–12
The Images of Two Men: 1 Corinthians 15:45–50
Transformed into the Image: 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:4, 6
The Form of God: Philippians 2:6–11; 3:20–21
Adam, Christ, and the Cosmos: 1 Corinthians 15:20–28

4 Adam, Corruption, and the Cosmos: Anthropogony within Romans
Adam and Christ: Romans 5:12–21
The Adamic “I” and its Encounter with Divine Law: Romans 7:7–12
Creation and the Children of God: Romans 8:18–23

5 Conclusions on Paul
Romans and the Rest
Anthropogony and Theology in Paul

6 Conclusions
Theology and Traditions of Anthropogony
The Hodayot: Implications for Scholarship
The Apostle Paul: Implications for Scholarship

Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Sources


All interested in theological anthropology and the creation of humankind in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, especially in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Letters of Paul.