A reader of Scot's blog asked, "Could the temptation not be both? In other words, could Jesus' resisting of temptation not be a sign that he succeeds where Adam, Israel, and all of humanity have failed in the past?" In his response, Scot made some very good points about reading Scripture:
You touch a sensitive nerve when you ask if it could be both. "Of course, it could be anything," is what I'm tempted to answer. But I'd like to explore this briefly:
1. The goal of reading is to discover, more or less, the intent of the author as expressed in a text . . .
2. Which means we are asking what Mark intended here . . .
3. Which means we are driven to ask what evidence there is in the text for what we think we are seeing . . .
4. Which means "Adam" does not appear in the text but allusions perhaps do appear to Eden/Paradise -- perhaps . . .
5. Which means saying it means both things means we've got evidence in the text for both and that Mark was intentionally giving us a double entendre . . .
6. Which is different from our ability to suggest it could be this and it could be that -- our could bes are not Mark's intentions.
7. The evidence, and Keller actually plumbs this if my memory is right, in Matthew and Luke is almost entirely in the direction of a Second Israel and not a Second Adam (Paul has Second Adam theology).
So, what evidence in Mark is there for a Second Adam typology? That's the question. Second Adam theology is, of course, true, but it doesn't mean it's true to this text.
When I teach sessions on reading and interpreting the Bible, I talk about "extracting the right doctrine from the wrong text," meaning essentially what Scot does. From now on I may talk about "being true to the text."