I have started reading the Bible and I have found that in Genesis 2.19 the first man is already called Adam without any previous reference to this name.

But when it comes to Eve there is a clear explanation of her name in Genesis 3.20.

So my question is, how was Adam's name chosen? Was it chosen by himself or given to him by God? And why?

In case different traditions have different answer to this question I would prefer the Roman Catholic one.

  • 2
    The Catholic Answer is here. newadvent.org/cathen/01129a.htm
    – Marc
    Sep 8, 2015 at 13:36
  • 1
    I don't really understand the question. Are you asking why the name isn't defined or explained?
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 8, 2015 at 14:03
  • I'm asking why and how was that name chosen because there's no reference about it in the Bible. Sorry if it wasn't clear before.
    – A. A.
    Sep 8, 2015 at 14:09
  • @Marc Thanks for the link, if you post it as an answer I'll be glad to accept it.
    – A. A.
    Sep 8, 2015 at 14:23

5 Answers 5


'Āḏām comes from the Hebrew 'āḏām, meaning "human being, mankind collectively, cognate with Phoenician 'dm (probably adam), Arabic 'adam human being; further etymology uncertain: perhaps related to 'aḏamāh earth, ground (compare the juxtaposition of 'āḏām and 'aḏamāh in Genesis 2:7, where God forms man out of earth) or to 'aḏom red, ruddy" (OED).


Though our English translations of the Old Testament use the word "man" and the name "Adam", they come from a single Hebrew word. Whether it is generic (man) or specific (Man/Adam) depends on the context. Interestingly, in the New Testament, Paul used two different Greek words:

The first man [anthropos] Adam [adam] became a living being... (I Cor. 15:45)

(I believe he was quoting from Gen. 2:7 in this text)

[ I'm not Catholic, by the way ]


Adam comes from the Hebrew word adama, which means earth or soil. And God created him with a soil. May be That's why God kept his name Adam. As per Gen.2:7


Adam means add I am in a man. In Genesis 1:26 let us make in our image and Paslms 82:6 I have said, ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. This site prefers more solid answers with references and links to back up its statements. See: What makes a good supported answer? This is a Q&A site rather than a discussion site. Meanwhile, I hope you'll stick around and browse some of the other questions and answers here. Mar 15, 2016 at 15:16

Adam = ad (against/reduced) AM, it was after the fall @Genesis 3:17. His identity has changed therefore name changed. Before that, it was called the man and the women (because she was taken out of man), the two were one unity. After the fall, Adam was the new identity and new name, when his name changed, he changed his woman’s name into Eve, with that came a new role for her, as the mother of all living.

  • 2
    According to who/what? You need to cite something and explain where this comes from and what part of Christianity holds to this view.
    – Caleb
    Jun 2, 2019 at 6:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .