The Color of Adam, Part 2: What Does the Bible Say?

In Part 1, we took a quick look at the sources for the belief of some Church of God groups that Adam was white. The main issue is that this doctrine is wholly conceived from cultural biases, particularly from WCG’s founder Herbert W Armstrong. It is not found in the Bible.

OK, then, so what does the Bible say?

As I said in Part 1, it is easy to put on our 21st century spectacles and look back into the past, but that will not make the scene any more accurate. While we in the US in this and the past few decades have been almost obsessed with the color of one’s skin, the Bible makes very few references to skin color!

Bruce Lyon has an online article at Servant’s News giving a rather critical review of MOA, but he does make this point:

The Bible is not concerned with the color of one’s skin in any way pertaining to salvation. Even in Ancient Israel, a racially “mixed multitude” (Ex 12:37-38) went up with Israel out of Egypt.

~ Lyon, Bruce. (May/June 2000). Analysis of HWA’s book Mystery of the Ages. Servant’s News. Retrieved from

Instead, the Bible deals with lineages and genealogies. The color of one’s skin seems to not even be a secondary but at best a tertiary consideration.

Now, it may have been that Noah and his sons were white, although strictly speaking that is not necessary even from a naturalistic viewpoint. Each of his sons, then, could have married a woman of a different race, which would explain the three main strains of the races we have today. However, even that is speculation and ignores the fact that there could have already been a mixture of genes that would have produced the same outcome anyways.

Even if Noah and his sons were white, something that we are not told, that has no bearing on the color of Adam or Eve. Each of them must have had sufficient genetic mutations inherent within them to produce offspring with varying characteristics. For all we know, there may have been many more races leading up to the Flood than we have today!

Consider that Adam came basically from clay. Clay has differing colors depending upon the minerals mixed in with it. Some is brown, some yellow, some red, and some is blue. For all we know, there was a green race before the Flood.

Red clay is perhaps the most prevalent, though. An interesting thing about it is that, while the Bible does not come out and say what color Adam was, there is a hint at what color he might have been – and it ain’t white!

“Adam” is closely related to H119, also “‘adam”. It means “red”. Consider this passage of the Bible:

30And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. (Genesis 25:30, King James Version)

“Edom” also has its root word as H119. If you take the vowels out of “Adam” and “Edom”, you wind up with “dm” in both instances. It is noteworthy that ancient written Hebrew originally had no vowel designations.

Now, some would argue that H119 actually means “ruddy”. While it is true that “ruddy” or “’admoniy” shares the same root word, H119, it is worthy to note that it is not exactly the same. King David was said to be “ruddy”, “’admoniy”. It is a different word, then.

For example, the anglicized “Edom” is also used to describe the redness of blood (2Ki 3:22). Similarly, the root word H119 is used to describe the redness of wine (Pr 23:31). While the KJV translates it as “ruddy” in Lam 4:7, that is evidently quite wrong, since rubies are “red” not “ruddy”. It is also “crimson” in Isa 1:18.

So, if we are going to speculate about Adam’s color, let’s at least base that speculation upon actual Bible references!

When you think about it, it makes more sense from a naturalistic standpoint that Adam and Eve would have been some color other than white if they actually contained the genes necessary to create different races.

Of course, if God directly intervened and created the races some other way, then it is immaterial what color Adam and Eve were.

Which brings me to my final point: What difference does it really make? We all came from Adam. We all came from Eve. If you believe in the Bible and not some fairy tale about different creations and the like, we are all of one blood (Ac 17:26).

You can try to tip-toe all around it, and in the end it doesn’t serve any real purpose unless you have some other agenda. In fact, if we are truly of the belief that God is calling people from all nations everywhere, it becomes downright counterproductive. You can say the same thing about doctrines that you can say about people: “By their fruit you shall know them.”


  1. We're all from the same race — the human race.

    And even if Adam and Eve had zebra-striped skin, they still sinned. Thank God for the "second Adam," no matter what color His skin was!

  2. John D Carmack

    I'd hate to have to turn off HTML in comments, but I'm getting a little tired of Chinese Character spam.