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Nesterova O.E. The Typology of Adam and Eve in the New Testament and in the Early Christian Literature. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 4, pp. 58–75. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-4-58-75

Author: Olga E. Nesterova
Information about the author:

Olga E. Nesterova, PhD in Philology, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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Received: January 09, 2018
Published: December 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №4
Department: World Literature
Pages: 58-75

UDK: 821.41
BBK: 83.3(0)4+86.371
Keywords: Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, Early Christian Literature, Exegetics, Adam, Eve.


Basing on the history of interpretation of the biblical story about Adam and Eve, the article discusses the question of the New Testament origins of the Christian typological exegesis, a specific method of interpreting the Old Testament which allowed us to discover in the Old Testament history images (“types”) symbolically and prophetically anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ, the triumph of the Christian Church and events related to the expected end of the world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The emergence of this method was closely connected with the notions of the coming Kingdom of God as developed in the Judaism of the Babylonian captivity. The descriptions of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament prophetic books were based on motifs and images borrowed from the Genesis story of the earthly paradise — the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived before their expulsion. It was natural for the New Testament writers who believed in the coming of the expected Messiah and hoped that the Kingdom of God was already “near at the door” (Mark 13: 29), to develop and continue these analogies by establishing a parallelism between Adam, the first man, and Jesus Christ, the first to be resurrected from the dead and thus the “first-born” of the new creation. However, attempts made by researchers to identify traces of typological identification of Adam and Christ in the canonical Gospels are not always compelling. One can speak of the typology of Adam-Christ with complete certainty only with reference to the epistles of the apostle Paul, and this typology was of an essentially antithetical nature. Subsequently, the same model of the antithetic parallelism was used by Christian exegetes in establishing a typological connection between the images of Eve and the Virgin Mary.


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