Questions From Readers
◼ Did Jehovah God speak to Adam directly, or did he speak through the Word, the only-begotten Son of God?
The Bible does not give us an explicit answer to this question. While God could have spoken directly to his perfect human son in Eden, likely He communicated with Adam through the Word.
The Bible often speaks of God’s doing things when he actually did them through one or more angels. For instance, Genesis 1:1 tells us: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Were that all the Bible said about the origin of the universe, we would conclude that God created it directly, as if with his own hands. The Christian Greek Scriptures, however, enlarge our understanding. We read: “By means of [the Son of God] all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible . . . All other things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16, 17) Other texts confirm the Son’s role in creating the universe. (John 1:3, 10; Hebrews 1:1, 2) Still, his role was as a workman subordinate to Jehovah, who originated, empowered, and directed creation.—Psalm 19:1.
God said to the first man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction.” (Genesis 2:16, 17) Jehovah did not need some mechanical or electronic device, such as a megaphone or a shortwave radio. As The Watchtower of August 1, 1989, said: “The man saw no one doing the speaking. The voice came from the invisible, the unseen realm, and it was addressing him. It was the voice of the man’s Maker, his Creator! . . . The man needed no modern scientific radio receiver to hear the divine voice. God conversed with him directly.”
Did God speak through an angel, perhaps the Logos, who became Jesus? That is quite possible. While not being dogmatic, C. T. Russell wrote: “Jesus perhaps was the Representative of God in the Garden of Eden with Adam.” (The Watch Tower, February 1, 1915) God’s firstborn Son long served in the exalted capacity of his Father’s “Word,” or Spokesman, to angels and men. (John 1:1; 12:49, 50; Revelation 1:1, 2) So even if the Genesis account conveys the impression that God spoke directly to solitary Adam, that does not rule out His speaking through an angel, including the Word, Jehovah’s heavenly Son. Especially would this be so considering that Jehovah used the Logos to create man in the first place, and this one ‘was fond of the things involving the sons of men.’—Proverbs 8:22, 31; John 1:3.
Consider, for example, the occasion when Moses went up on Mount Sinai. Exodus 19:21-24 relates: “Jehovah now said to Moses . . . At this Moses said to Jehovah . . . However, Jehovah said to him.” Then the account of the giving of the Ten Commandments is introduced this way: “God proceeded to speak all these words.” (Exodus 20:1) Does that sound as if God personally spoke the words of the Law? Such an impression could find support in that we are told that God spoke to Moses “face to face.”—Exodus 33:11.
Still, we have further revelation on this. The apostle Paul wrote about the Law: “It was transmitted through angels by the hand of a mediator.” (Galatians 3:19) Later, Paul specifically contrasted the instructions God provided in the Law and what Christians received through Jesus: “If the word spoken through angels proved to be firm, and every transgression and disobedient act received a retribution . . . , how shall we escape if we have neglected a salvation of such greatness in that it began to be spoken through our Lord [Jesus] and was verified for us by those who heard him.” (Hebrews 2:2, 3) So God did not speak the words of the Law with his own personal voice, nor did he use the Logos. Rather, he chose to use other angels.
What is the basic point, though? Often when we read of God speaking to humans, we note that he did so through obedient spirit creatures who spoke for him. (Compare Genesis 18:2, 3, 33; 19:1; Exodus 3:2-4; Judges 6:11, 12, 20-22.) Jesus’ designation as the Word suggests that he was one whom God often used to communicate with his other creatures. Did that include God’s perfect son Adam? Most likely.—Luke 3:38.
It is true that when the Logos was later on earth, the Father three times spoke audibly so that this “last Adam” could hear. (1 Corinthians 15:45; Matthew 3:16, 17; 17:1-5; John 12:28-30) On these occasions, why should God speak to or about his precious Son through an intervening angel? More logically, Jehovah would speak directly; his perfect Son, and even imperfect humans nearby, heard God’s own voice. So when the perfect man Adam was created, his loving Father could have dealt directly with this perfect new creation. However, in view of the foregoing, it is likely that he used the Word.