What is the Protoevangelium? A big Bible word we don’t hear very often, right? We find it in the first promise given to Adam and Eve after the fall. In the first of three poems we read in Genesis, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Theologians call it the protoevangelium or the first gospel because these words contain the first promise of redemption in the Bible after sin enter the world. (See Romans 5:12) The great English preacher Charles Simeon called this verse “the sum and summary of the whole Bible.” Everything else in the Bible flows from this promise to when it is first given.
The law, principle or rule says; that to fully understand a particular theological idea, doctrine or word, we must understand the passage it is first found in. Which in this case is the protoevangelium. This is the headwater of the gospel message, the coming kingdom of God, and the Messiah who was to come into the world to save us from our sins. We know the Messiah today by Jesus of Nazareth. The verse introduces God’s provision is a Savior from sin, recently committed by Adam and Eve, who would take the curse upon Himself. This promise of a future savior would not only crush the deceiver (the serpents head) but would also be destroyed by him as he bruises the Saviors’ heal. This mutually assured destruction from the text in Genesis is the picture of Jesus giving His life on the cross as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6) Jesus has won the victory over the Satan. However, in order to do so, gave Himself to be wounded for us at the same time. (See Isaiah 53:1-3)