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Jesus is called the "last Adam" or "second man (Adam)":

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. . . . The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47, KJV)

But, whereas Adam was the father of all mankind, why then is Jesus never called our Father? Why do the Scriptures consistently refer to him as "the Son"?

And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20, KJV)

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40, KJV)

What is the significance of Christ being called the Son, rather than our Father or even our Patriarch?

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  • Based on which verse in Genesis 2-5 makes you say "Adam was the Father of all mankind?" - Does Genesis 5:1 not say "on the day that Elohim created man" ( בְּי֗וֹם בְּרֹ֤א אֱלֹהִים֙ אָדָ֔ם ) Oct 12 at 14:07
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    @חִידָה "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Genesis 3;20. Adam was Eve's husband; it follows that if she were the mother of all living, he was the father.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 12 at 14:11
  • See Isaiah 9:6, or, for that matter, all passages relating to the Eucharist, insofar flesh and blood descendants are concerned.
    – Lucian
    Oct 12 at 17:34
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    @Constantthin "The Father gave birth to Jesus, and Jesus gave birth to us. Thus, the Father is our Grand Father. " --> If that were true, then Jesus should be called our Father and I would be interested in seeing you post your answer to support the notion.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 13 at 5:51
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    Very astute and thought-provoking question. (Which none of the answers may have fully appreciated, as yet.) Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 13 at 8:59
2

Genesis 3:

20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

Eve is called the mother of all the living but Adam is never called the Father of all mankind in the Bible.

OP: Adam was not a son, but the father of all mankind:

In fact, Adam is called the son of God in Luke 3:

38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

This makes God the Father of Adam and the Father of all mankind including Adam. God is our Father, Malachi 2:

10 Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us?

Why is Jesus not called our Father?

Because God is our Father according to the Bible. Adam is never labeled as "our Father" in the Bible. Jesus called God his Father and our Father.

Why do the Scriptures consistently refer to him as "the Son"?

The expression "the Son of man" occurs 81 times in the gospels. It was Jesus' favoriate expression to refer to himself. Jesus alluded to Daniel 7:

13“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, a coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

OP: Anyone can be a son of God.

True but Jesus called himself the Son of God alluding to the above prophecy. Not anyone can claim to have fulfilled this prophecy.

Paul affirmed part of this in 1 Corinthians 15:

47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.

What, then, is the significance of the "Second Adam" being "the Son of Man"?

The First Adam was from dust; the Second Adam was from heaven.

OP: If God were a man (He isn't) then you might have a reason for Jesus being "the Son of Man".

The Son of Man is a spiritual metaphor, not a physical reality. Physically, Jesus was a son of Mary. We have a reason for Jesus being "the Son of Man" because it is a spiritual metaphor.

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  • Anyone can be a son of God. The question was not addressing the Godhead so much as humanity. Why is Jesus not called our Father? Why would he be the "Son" of Man? If God were a man (He isn't) then you might have a reason for Jesus being "the Son of Man". But God is not a man, hence the question.
    – Polyhat
    Oct 12 at 14:14
  • Good questions. I added.
    – Tony Chan
    Oct 12 at 14:32
  • @Polyhat It might be added that the term "Son of Man" is actually literal since Jesus was born of a human being (Mary). In fact, based on that perspective, Jesus was actually a son of Adam dating back to the very beginning. However, he was also the Son of God because He was born of the Holy Spirit: two natures in one Being, 1) Son of God, 2) Son of Man. Christ generally left it us to His audiences to ascertain number (1).
    – Xeno
    Oct 12 at 21:50
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    Adam is not said to be 'the son' of God. The words 'the son' are not in the original. Adam is said to be 'of God' in Luke 3:38. The KJV has italics in that place indicating that it is an interpretative interpolation. (Or, I would say 'an intrusion'. Much as I respect the KJV generally.)
    – Nigel J
    Oct 13 at 8:54
  • 'The Son of man' has an ambiguity to it that should be noticed. The Son of man may mean The Son, as the eternal God, is come of man. Or it may mean 'the son of man' which is to say a son begotten of a man. But we know that Jesus was not begotten of Joseph. (Nor does scripture ever say he was begotten of Mary, which technicality ought to be noticed. He was delivered of Mary, yes.)
    – Nigel J
    Oct 13 at 8:58
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According to Isaiah 9:6, one of the titles of the Messiah (the Christ) is "Everlasting Father". He is also called "the Mighty God" as is Yahweh in Isaiah 10:21. Herein lies the significance of the last Adam (not 'the second Adam' as you state). Herein lies the uncrossable chasm between the first man Adam being created by God out of dust, and the last Adam being the uncreated one out of heaven.

Further, there is significance in the subtle distinctions between Adam being the first man, and the Son of God being the second Man yet simultaneously being called the last Adam. As to the flesh, the One from heaven had a parallel in being fleshly, as was the first man, Adam. He was as fully human as was the first man. Further, he was fully perfect, as was the first man (until he sinned). This enabled perfect justice to be carried out by God in not remedying the sin of Adam by over-compensation. It would have been unfair had the One from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:45-47) not submitted to being fully human. So, he laid aside his majesty as the uncreated Son of God and became a suffering servant, a little lower than the angels for the duration of his earthly ministry as the Son of Man.

Going back to your question, then; Adam was created by God, made in the image of God, therefore a son of God, in the flesh, who then became father of all mankind. That is why "as by one man [the first Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). The federal head of all mankind had to bear that responsibility.

Yet chapter 5 of Romans goes on to contrast the gift of grace and righteousness through the obedience of that other one, "the second man from heaven", the Son of Man, who undid the damage of the disobedience of the earthy man, Adam. The Son of God chose to bear that responsibility. That's where the contrast lies between the first man, Adam, and the last Adam - Christ - who is our Everlasting Father (not least because he made everything that was made - John 1:1-3 - which included the first Adam.)

There's subtlety in the way Jesus is called 'the last Adam' and 'the second man', but never 'the second Adam' and never 'the last man' (as per 1 Cor. 15:45-47, and verses 48-49 are also significant.) This means that you question is wrong to imply that Jesus is called "the second Adam".

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OP, you asked: But, whereas Adam was the Father of all mankind, why then is Jesus never called our Father? Why do the Scriptures consistently refer to him as "the Son"?

First, God is the “father” of all by virtue of the fact that he is the Creator of the human family. Humanity was fashioned in his very image (Genesis 1:26-27)

Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Malachi 2:10<

he says: “we are also his offspring”

As also some of the poets among you have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore being offspring of God, Acts 17: 28-29<

Adam was of God.

of Enosh, of Seth, of Adam, of God Luke 3:38<

Adam became the father of Seth. That is the only time I see that Adam being mentioned as the father of anybody.

And after he had become the father of Seth, Genesis 5:4

Adam did represent all of mankind.

for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all will be made alive, 1 Corinthians 15:22<

And He made from one man every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth, having determined the appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, Acts 17:26<

Second part of your question is why is Jesus never called our father.

First of all God is the father of Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father. 2 Corinthians 1:3<

We are created in Christ.

For we are His workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.<

Christ is not our Father , But God is our father.

'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' John 20:17<

The third part of your question. Why do the Scriptures consistently refer to him as "the Son"?

In the very beginning a seed was promised to Eve. She would be called the mother of all the living because of this seed.

The Son is the Seed.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:15<

We know the seed was again promised through Abraham.

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).<

This is the true seed of God, coming in the form of the son of man.

it has been written: “The first man Adam became into a living soul;”the last Adam into a life-giving spirit. However the spiritual was not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man was made of dust from the earth, the second man from heaven. As the one was made of dust, so also are those of the earth; and as is the heavenly one, so also are those of heaven. And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15: 45-49<

Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone.<

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.<

You fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies 1 Corinthians 15:36<

The seed died in the form of a man , a natural body, and a new creation spring forth.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being;”e the last Adam a life-giving spirit First Corinthians 15:44<

And God said let us make man in our image, it seems like it was a twofold process. The true Son of God was revealed in Christ. Those in Christ now are a brand new creation where God is our t Father as well. No grand parent here .

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17<

It was through the Son of God, that became the son of man, that died, that became a brand new creation. He's now sent the spirit of his son into our hearts.

For you have not received a spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of divine adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15<

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What, then, is the significance of the "Second Adam" being "the Son of Man" not "Father of Man"?

The topic "Son of Man" in the Insight of the Scriptures brings out how this applies to Jesus Christi:

Christ Jesus, “the Son of Man.” In the Gospel accounts the expression is found nearly 80 times, applying in every case to Jesus Christ, being used by him to refer to himself. (Mt 8:20; 9:6; 10:23) The occurrences outside the Gospel accounts are at Acts 7:56; Hebrews 2:6; and Revelation 1:13; 14:14.

Jesus’ application of this expression to himself clearly showed that God’s Son was now indeed a human, having ‘become flesh’ (Joh 1:14), having ‘come to be out of a woman’ through his conception and birth to the Jewish virgin Mary. (Ga 4:4; Lu 1:34-36) Hence he had not simply materialized a human body as angels had previously done; he was not an incarnation but was actually a ‘son of mankind’ through his human mother.​—Compare 1Jo 4:2, 3; 2Jo 7; see FLESH.

For this reason the apostle Paul could apply Psalm 8 as prophetic of Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Hebrews (2:5-9), Paul quoted the verses reading: “What is mortal man [ʼenohshʹ] that you keep him in mind, and the son of earthling man [ben-ʼa·dhamʹ] that you take care of him? You also proceeded to make him a little less than godlike ones [“a little lower than angels,” at Hebrews 2:7], and with glory and splendor you then crowned him. You make him dominate over the works of your hands; everything you have put under his feet.” (Ps 8:4-6; compare Ps 144:3.) Paul shows that, to fulfill this prophetic psalm, Jesus indeed was made “a little lower than angels,” becoming actually a mortal “son of earthling man,” that he might die as such and thereby “taste death for every man,” thereafter being crowned with glory and splendor by his Father, who resurrected him.​—Heb 2:8, 9; compare Heb 2:14; Php 2:5-9.

The designation “Son of man,” therefore, also serves to identify Jesus Christ as the great Kinsman of mankind, having the power to redeem them from bondage to sin and death, as well as to identify him as the great Avenger of blood.​—Le 25:48, 49; Nu 35:1-29; see AVENGER OF BLOOD; RANSOM; REPURCHASE, REPURCHASER.

Thus, Jesus’ being called the “Son of David” (Mt 1:1; 9:27) emphasizes his being the heir of the Kingdom covenant to be fulfilled in David’s line; his being called the “Son of man” calls attention to his being of the human race by virtue of his fleshly birth; his being called the “Son of God” stresses his being of divine origin, not descended from the sinner Adam or inheriting imperfection from him but having a fully righteous standing with God.​—Mt 16:13-17.

Showing Jesus' humanness also brings us closer to him.

And as our High Priest, he has gone through similar situations that mankind has dealt with and can sympathize with us. (Hebrews 4:15)

[All scripture quotations from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)]

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Jesus' two most common titles in the NT are:

  • The Son of Man, Matt 11:19, 24:30, Mark 14:21, Luke 9:26, etc
  • The Son of God,

The Son of Man

The title "The Son of Man" serves several functions -

  • it is an allusion to Jesus full humanity (and ultimately mortality) as per the Hebrew idiom in places like Eze 21:19, 28:2, 33:2, 12, 37:16, 43:7, etc
  • It shows Jesus as "our brother" because we are adopted into the family of God, and thus children of God, as per John 3:1-8 and 1:12, 13 where we are able to become children of God. Rom 1:7, 2 Cor 1:2, Eph 1:2, Gal 1:3, Phil 1:2, 4:20, Col 1:2, 1 Thess 3:11, 2 Thess 1:1, 2, 2:16, 1 Tim 1:2, etc. (This is contradistinction of the Jewish leaders whom Jesus accused of having the Devil as their father, John 8:44.)
  • it emphasizes God as our Father Deut 32:15, 18, Ps 89:26, Isa 63:8-10, 16, 64:8, Mal 1:6. In the NT writers frequently refer to God as “the Father”, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:3, 5:20, 6:23, Phil 2:11, 1 Thess 1:1, 1 Cor 15:25, 2 Cor 1:3, 11:31, James 1:27, 1 Peter 1:2, 3, 2 Peter 1:17, 2 John 3, etc; or “My Father”, Matt 11:27, 12:50, 18:35, 20:23, 26:53, Luke 10:22, 15:58, John 5:17, 8:19, 54, 10:17, 18, 29, 14:21, 23, 15:18, etc. The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father”, Matt 6:9, see also Gal 1:4, 1 Thess 3:11, 2 Thess 2:16, Titus 1:4, Col 1:3, Phil 1:2, 4:20, etc.

The Son of God

This title serves to emphasize several ideas about Jesus:

  • the full divinity of Jesus as per John 5:18, Phil 2:6
  • the Heir and King of the Christian community, Luke 1:33, John 1:49, Acts 13:23, Heb 1:8, Rev 11:15. Compare Jer 33:14-17, Eze 37:22, Rev 5. See also
  • By an extension to the above, as King in Hebrew idiom, Jesus becomes the "father" of the Christian community as per Isa 9:6, "Everlasting Father".

Thus, there is no conflict between these titles of Jesus and that of the "second Adam".

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