Did Adam & Eve Actually Exist?

*Posted by Winston Hottman

The most recent edition of the Criswell Theological Review is devoted to this question. With contributions from five scholars, the journal considers the historicity of Adam and Eve and fleshes out the implications of affirming or denying this traditional Christian belief. It promises to be a great read:

APainting by Jon Gossaerts we will see in this compilation of articles, there are numerous issues that are contributing to this theological impasse.  Some of those matters include the hermeneutical complexities related to interpreting the Genesis creation account; whether scientific and biblical claims can be complimentary or not; how we should identify the textual derivation of Genesis 1-3 in light of comparative studies with various ancient Near Eastern creation myths; and most recently, whether the idea of humanity being traced back to one parental couple is compatible with current discoveries in genetic research.  All in all then, we have put this volume together so our readers can see how this discussion is developing within Christian academics.

Be sure to check out the CTR and order your own copy here.

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5 Responses to Did Adam & Eve Actually Exist?

  1. I tend to be rather simpleminded about such things. It seems to me that if we “say” that Scripture is inspired of God, infallible, and inerrant. then there is only one possible answer — Adam and Eve were the first, historical humans uniquely created by God. To say anything beyond that is to cast doubt upon Scripture, and if we doubt Scripture in this regard, then where else may we find fault? In this is lies the fall of the liberal theologians. If Genesis 1-3 (and even 1-11) is doubtful, the Scripture is fallible and errant and hence not inspired of God. So, for me, Adam and Eve were real people, the first real people, and the progenitors of us all, regardless of what academians might say because that’s what God said. :)

    • Mike says:

      What makes you think that ‘simple-mindedness’ is a virtue, on this issue or any other? Pretending that such complex and complicated issues are simple and have obvious answers is not only foolish and unhelpful, I dare say that it is impious and un-virtuous. You might not be interested in wrestling with difficult problems, but your carelessness is not without consequences. Too many fellow Christians feel bullied into squelching reasonable doubts by such dogmatic (but unsatisfying) ‘answers.’ An anti-intellectual faith is doomed to irrelevancy. The truth fears no inquiry.

      • Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17 — Understanding the simple truth of Scripture does not require a Ph.D. — not that I have anything against Ph.D.s — some of the men I admire most have Ph.D.s, but sometimes we attempt to make more of these issues than is really there. The question really is whose word are you going to accept? That of fallible man or that of infallible God? I have no problem believing that God created in six literal days (evening and morning defining the “day”). In fact, I have no problem believing that God could have created all in an instant, if He had chosen to do so — after all He is omnipotent — however, He created in six days for our benefit (Exodus 20:11). And if you need “science” to bolster your trust in God’s Word, there is plenty of science out there to substantiate biblical claims, if you are willing to look.

      • Mike says:

        You’ve missed my point entirely. I didn’t say that you are wrong (this isn’t the place for debate), I didn’t glorify academia or the university (I know plenty of imbeciles with PhD’s), and I’m certainly not rejecting God’s Word in favor of “science” (I think the latter is made reasonable by the former). What bothered me about your comment (which expresses a common sentiment) is that you seem to think that the truth (even the correct interpretation of difficult passages of Scripture) is obvious to ‘real’ believers. Reducing the question of origins to “whose word are you going to accept?”, perfectly illustrates this attitude. Not only does this belittle those of us with very real doubts about the truth of the matter (as if we are being stupid for trying to ‘complicate’ the issue), it also presents a false choice between faith, on the one hand, and intellectual honesty. on the other. Your intentions may be good, but your dogmatism and ‘simple-mindedness’ on this issue are misguided and have unintended consequences. You must not know what it is like to experience the turmoil of doubt and then be told that the truth would be obvious to you if only you had more faith or trusted God more. . .

  2. Mike, I guess I did miss your point; it seemed as though you were favoring academia over a simple trust in God’s Word. I do try to guard my words so as not to offend a weaker brother, but, in this forum, I assumed that I was addressing mature believers or at least those who by now should know better.

    I was raised in a Christian home. My father was a church planter, but he had very little education. I did not learn any deep theology from him. In fact, when I came to Christ at the age of six, all I clearly understood was that, because of my humanness, I was a sinner that needed Jesus to save me. It was not until much later in life that I started to learn the “deeper things” about God’s Word. But in my earlier years, my uneducated father instilled in me a trust in and reverence for God’s Word. I learned that whether I could understand it all or not, it was Truth that could be accepted at face value. So when challenged by evolutionist on the matter of creation, I could not respond other than to say, “God could have used evolution to create. He could also have created in an instant, because He is God. But the Bible says He created in six days, and that is what I believe,” and I would not be moved from that. I have a better, more scientific, response that confirms the truth of the Bible now, but the truth of God’s Word has never changed. Now, I am careful to treat an unbeliever or a baby Christian with kid gloves, but one who should really know better, I will “encourage” more severely. I’m reminded of Paul’s treatment of Peter’s hypocrisy (Galatians 2:11-14); I don’t recall Paul being all too kind to Peter. So, I still believe and encourage others to believe and trust God’s Word – all of it – simply because it is God’s Word.

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