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Salvation for AllGod's Other Peoples$
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Gerald O'Collins, SJ

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238903.001.0001

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From Adam and Eve to Abraham and Sarah

From Adam and Eve to Abraham and Sarah

(p.1) 1 From Adam and Eve to Abraham and Sarah
Salvation for All

Gerald O'Collins, SJ

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Book of Genesis and tells the human condition and the religious practices of Adam and Eve, Noah and his family, and the patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah as these prove how God cares for everyone and shows a universal benevolence. The name ‘Adam’ is a Hebrew word that signifies ‘human being’ or ‘humanity’. Adam also plays as the name of the first human in the Bible. The figures of Adam and Eve may be individual, but are used to characterize the totality of human race and not merely the story of them. The entire human community is said to be the focus of the opening chapters of Genesis including the creation of humans through the power of God and then their fall into sin that has affected the generations following them. What people read in those chapters depicts universally to human beings their origins, and their life in the presence of God. The climax of the said chapter is the relationship between humans and God after the sin has been done. The Genesis story sees the disobedience of Adam and Eve as the main reason why humans started to become bad and sinful. Cain murders his father and his action provokes the increase of violence practiced by the descendant of Cain. Because of the rotten minds of humans, God decided to have the so-called judgement day in the form of a catastrophic flood. Although God decided to clear mankind, the merciful love of God still operates. After the flood, there comes a new generation of humans wherein Abraham and Sarah played a decisive role in achieving the divine purposes.

Keywords:   Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve, Noah, Cain, Abraham and Sarah, God's intervention, God—human relationship, divine purpose

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