The most attacked book of the Bible has always been Genesis. This is because it provides the foundation for the entire Bible.
Without Genesis the message of the Bible makes little sense. Genesis is the essential starting point for the account of sin and redemption!
Today scholars from within and without Christendom assault Genesis with unrelenting skepticism, derision, and scorn. They seek to impugn Christianity by destroying the credibility of Genesis.
A major thrust of the attack on Genesis is the claim that Adam never existed. Those who think that mankind evolved over millions of years believe that Adam and Eve are mythical and have no place in human history.
Is this true?
Is it possible that Adam never existed?
Genesis is the only historical document about the Beginning that mankind possesses. The prequel in this series on Adam, Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?, proved based on historical testimony in Genesis that Adam was a real flesh-and-blood human being.
What did Moses, the author and compiler of Genesis, think about Adam?
Moses Believed in Adam!
Moses presents Adam as a real man who lived and walked on this earth. Moses describes
– Adam’s creation from dust by Yahweh
– Adam’s placement by Yahweh in the Garden of Eden
– Adam’s instructions from God on what he could and couldn’t eat
– Adam’s naming cattle, birds of the sky, and every beast of the field
– Adam’s deep sleep during which God removed a rib and formed Eve
– Adam’s verbal wonderment upon receiving his wife Eve from the hand of God
– Adam’s intentional sin of eating the forbidden fruit from Eve’s hand
– Adam’s conversation with Yahweh regarding his disobedience
– Adam’s physical expulsion and banishment from Eden
– Adam’s naming of his wife
– Adam’s fathering of sons Cain, Abel, and Seth
– Adam’s fathering of other sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4)
– Adam’s descendants to the 10th generation (Genesis 5)
– Adam’s death at age 930
This is certainly not the picture of a symbolic or mythical man, as some claim Adam is. These are not the behaviors of a metaphor. Moses is describing with concrete detail a real man who lived and died on earth. Moses obviously viewed Adam as a genuine man. He clearly intended to portray him as such.
What does Genesis 2:23 mean when it records Adam as saying of Eve
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
If Adam was only symbolic or metaphorical, how could he have flesh and bones? Symbols and metaphors do not have flesh and bones. How could Eve, the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20), be taken out of a mythical Adam? How could a metaphorical Adam have relations with Eve and produce children, one of whom killed his brother?
Genesis reports Adam as the first man and as the ancestor of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the progenitors of Israel. Adam could not merely be a metaphor for Israel as some scholars propose, since genealogies in Genesis, 1 Chronicles, and Luke trace the Israelites back to Adam. Metaphors do not have real-life descendants.
Genesis records that Adam died at age 930. What does it mean for a metaphor to “die at age 930”? Clearly, for the author of Genesis, Adam was a real flesh-and-blood man.
Genesis records that God made Adam from the dust of the ground, that He extracted a rib from which He made Eve, that Adam talked, ate, wore clothes, worked, had relations with his wife, and fathered children. These are not behaviors of a “myth,” “symbol,” or “metaphor.” These all indicate that Adam was a real man.
Read chapters 2 through 5 of Genesis for yourself and see if it isn’t obvious that Moses intends readers to understand that Adam was a real flesh-and-blood human being who lived and died on Earth.
Moreover, Moses’ account of Noah’s Flood (Genesis 6-9) from Noah’s and Shem’s records (Genesis 6:9; 10:1; 11:10) is obviously intended to be historical.
If Noah was historical, then so must have been his father Lamech.
If Lamech was historical, then so must have been his father Methuseleh.
If Methuseleh was historical, then so must have been his father Enoch.
…And so on back to Seth the father of Enos.
If Seth was historical, then so must have been his father Adam.
It is abundantly clear that Moses presents Adam in Genesis as a real live historical man. Adam was created by the hand of God to be the father of the human race.
Questions to Ponder
- Has Adam ever visited your church? That is, has your pastor ever preached through the first eleven chapters of Genesis, teaching it as straightforward literal history?
- Do your pastor and church leaders publicly stand for the historical truth of a literal Genesis, namely a real Adam & Eve, six regular days of Creation about 6,000 years ago, and a worldwide Noah’s Flood?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Read the sequels:
Did Jesus Believe in Adam? …coming soon…
Did Paul Believe in Adam?
Adam and Puppies
Why Did Adam Sin?
What Was Eden’s Forbidden Fruit?
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday September 30, 2015 A.D.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:1-6)