The above-quoted Midrash is even of greater importance for the understanding of the Pauline Christology, as affording the key to Paul's doctrine of the first and second Adam. The main passage in Pauline Christology is 1 Corinthians 15:45-50. According to this there is a double form of man's existence; for God created a heavenly Adam in the spiritual world and an earthly one of clay for the material world. The earthly Adam came first into view, although created last. The first Adam was of flesh and blood and therefore subject to death—merely "a living soul"; the second Adam was "a life-giving spirit"—a spirit whose body, like the heavenly beings in general, was only of a spiritual nature.
As a pupil of Gamaliel, Paul simply operates with conceptions familiar to the Palestinian theologians. Messiah, as the Midrash remarks, is, on the one hand, the first Adam, the original man who existed before Creation, his spirit being already present. On the other hand, he is also the second Adam in so far as his bodily appearance followed the Creation, and inasmuch as, according to the flesh, he is of the posterity of Adam.