Dust of the Ground and Breath of Life (Gen 2:7) - The Problem of a Dualistic Anthropology in Early Judaism and Christianity


Issues such as the immortality of the soul, the debate about matter versus life, and whether one was capable of knowing the outside world were all being extensively discussed in many religions and cultures in both East and West. The present volume addresses the concept of an immortal soul in a mortal body, and focuses on early Judaism and Christianity, where this issue is often related to the initial chapters of the book of Genesis. The papers are devoted to the interpretation of Gen 2:7 in relation to the broader issue of dualistic anthropology. They show that the dualism was questioned in different ways within the context of early Judaism and Christianity.

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Jacques T.A.G.M. van Ruiten, Ph.D. (1990), Catholic Theological University Amsterdam, is Professor of the Reception History of the Bible at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on the reception history of biblical texts, especially in early Judaism, including Abraham in the Book of Jubilees (Brill, 2012).
George H. van Kooten, Ph.D. (2001), Leiden University, is Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on the Greco-Roman context of the New Testament. Recently, he has been visiting fellow at the universities of Cambridge (2013-14) and Göttingen (2015).

Contributors are: Reinhard Feldmeier, Robert Hayward, Rob Kugler, Michaël N. van der Meer, Ed Noort, Mladen Popovic, Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, Loren Stuckenbruck, Beatrice Wyss.
"The editors define a dualistic anthropology as a conception of the human being as consisting of two essentially distinct and potentially conflicting elements, namely, the immortal soul and the earth-bound body (...) The volume serves as a good overview and makes valuable contributions to the discussion around anthropological dualism." - Nicholas A. Meyer, in: Dead Sea Discoveries 25:2 (2018)


Taken from the Soil, Gifted with the Breath of Life: The Anthropology of Gen 2:7 in Context

Ed Noort

Theological Anthropology and the Enochic Book of Watchers (1 En. 6–16)

Loren T. Stuckenbruck

Anthropology in the Ancient Greek Versions of Gen 2:7

Michaël N. van der Meer

Anthropology, Pneumatology, and Demonology in Early Judaism: The Two Spirits Treatise (1qs iii, 13–iv, 26) and Other Texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls

Mladen Popović

From Cosmogony to Psychology: Philo’s Interpretation of Gen 2:7 in De opificio mundi, Quaestiones et solutiones in Genesin and Legum allegoriae

Beatrice Wyss

On Anthropology and Honor in the Testament of Job

Robert A. Kugler

Christ As Creator: Paul’s Eschatological Reading of Gen 2:7 in 1Cor 15:45

Reinhard Feldmeier

Anthropological Views in Nag Hammadi: The Bipartite and Tripartite Conceptions of Human Being

Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta

Adam, Dust, and the Breath of Life according to the Targumim of Gen 2:7

Robert Hayward

Index of Ancient Sources 173

Index of Modern Authors 188
All interested in the reception history of the Bible, especially early Judaism and Christianity, and anyone concerned with questions of dualistic anthropology in relation to Gen 2:7.