When one first reads this, perhaps they may be compelled to examine Gen. 2:7 (since Paulos quotes it), in which it is written,
And YHVH God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
Hebrew text (Masoretic):
וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָֽאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּֽה
Greek text (LXX):
καὶ ἔπλασεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον χοῦν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐνεφύσησεν εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πνοὴν ζωῆς καὶ ἐγένετο ὁ ἄνθρωπος εἰς ψυχὴν ζῶσαν
Notice what occurs.
- YHVH God forms man.
- YHVH God breathes the "breath of life" into man.
- Man becomes a "living soul."
What is interesting about the LXX is that it uses the Greek verb ἐνεφύσησεν (enephysēsen), a conjugation of the root verb ἐμφυσάω (emphysaō), "meaning "to breathe on, infuse." In the entire corpus of the Greek text of the Bible, this verb only occurs twice: Gen. 2:7 of the LXX, and John 20:22 of the NT, in which it is written,
And when he said this, he breathed on [them] and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit!"
καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἐνεφύσησεν καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Λάβετε πνεῦμα ἅγιον
Arthur W. Pink, in his Exposition of the Gospel of John, p. 1100, wrote,
The Greek word here used is employed nowhere else in the New Testament, but is the very one used by the Septuagint translators of Gen 2:7: 'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.' There, man's original creation was completed by this act of God; who, then, can fail to see that here in John 20, on the day of the Saviour's resurrection, the new creation had begun, begun by the Head of the new creation, the last Adam acting as 'a quickening spirit' (1Cr 15:45)!"
John Gill, on the phrase "quickening" or "life-making spirit," writes,
though rather I think it is to be understood of his spiritual body, of his body, not as it was made of the virgin, for that was a natural, or an animal one; it was conceived and bred, and born as animal bodies are; it grew and increased, and was nourished with meat and drink, and sleep and rest; and was subject to infirmities, and to death itself, as our bodies be; but it is to be understood of it as raised from the dead, when it was made a spiritual body, for which reason it is called a "spirit":
not that it was changed into a spirit, for it still remained flesh and blood; but because it was no more supported in an animal way; nor subject to those weaknesses that animal bodies are, but lives as spirits, or angels do; and a quickening one, not only because it has life itself, but because by virtue of the saints' union to it, as it subsists in the divine person of the Son of God, their bodies will be quickened at the last day, and made like unto it, spiritual bodies; also because he lives in his body as a spiritual one, they shall live in theirs as spiritual ones: and so the apostle shows, that there is a spiritual, as well as an animal body; that as the first man's body, even before the fall, was an animal or natural one; the last Adam's body upon his resurrection is a spiritual and life giving one, as the Syriac version renders it