Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 7, 2015

Did Jesus Believe in Adam?


The most attacked book of the Bible has always been Genesis.

Today a major thrust of the attack 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.

Today scholars from within and without Christendom assault Genesis with unrelenting skepticism, derision, and scorn.

For example, Tremper Longman is Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA and adjunct professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He does not believe or teach a historical Adam. In 2010 he said,

“The description of how Adam was created is certainly figurative. The question is open as to whether there was an actual person named Adam who was the first human being or not. Perhaps there was a first man, Adam, and a first woman, Eve, designated as such by God at the right time in his development of human beings. Or perhaps Adam, whose name after all means “Human,” is himself figurative of humanity in general. I have not resolved this issue in my own mind except to say that there is nothing that insists on a literal understanding of Adam in a passage so filled with obvious figurative description.”
(Tremper Longman quoted in Adam: Man or Myth? by Dr. Gary Gromacki, Assoc Prof of Bible and Homiletics at Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA)

Is it possible that Adam is only figurative?
Is it possible that Adam never really existed?

What did Jesus think?
What would Jesus say to the question, “Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?”

Jesus Believed in Adam!

Jesus said this about what Moses wrote, which includes Genesis:

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John‬ ‭5:46-47 NASB)

Therefore, Jesus believed in Adam, because Jesus believed Moses, and Moses believed in Adam and wrote about him.
If it is difficult to believe the testimony of Moses in Genesis, then it will likewise be difficult to believe Jesus, for Jesus equated believing His words with believing Moses’ writings (John‬ ‭5:46-47).

Jesus Himself referred to Adam and Eve when He replied to the Pharisees’ question about divorce:
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
(Matthew 19:3-6 NASB; see also Mark 10:2-9)

Here Jesus quotes from Chapter 1 and from Chapter 2 of Genesis. He quoted from verse 27 in Chapter 1 on the creation of the first man and woman (Adam & Eve). He also quoted God’s own comment on giving Eve to Adam from verse 24 in Chapter 2.

Now it is common for people to say that the two creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis are contradictory. Yet Jesus quoted from both chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis in His answer about marriage and divorce. Apparently Jesus did not see a conflict between the two chapters because He combined selections from both to answer a question about one of the most practical matters of life — marriage.

Since Jesus quoted Moses about Adam’s creation and about Adam’s marriage to Eve, it is certain that Jesus believed in Adam.

Genealogy of Jesus

Jesus’ Genealogy

Dr. Luke was the author of two New Testament books, the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. As a first-rate historian he investigated everything carefully from the beginning and recorded his findings so that his readers could know the exact truth about Jesus (Luke 1:1-4).

Most of the first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel account surely came directly from Mary the mother of Jesus. Mary was also likely the source of the genealogy of Jesus in chapter three. Jesus undoubtedly learned His genealogical history from his mother as a child.

This genealogy (Luke 3:23-38) traces the ancestors of Jesus father by father all the way back through King David, Abraham, and Noah to Adam. Now Jesus, David, Abraham, and Noah are all historical personages. Therefore their ancestors had to be real people too. Thus Adam, the father of the human race, had to be historical. Therefore Jesus would have believed in Adam His first father.

Jude was a half-brother of Jesus (Jude 1:1; Matthew 13:55) and the author of a New Testament epistle. In this epistle he strongly urged Christians to contend earnestly for the faith against wicked false teachers (Jude 1:3-4).

Jude mentioned Enoch prophesying about these evil men (Jude 1:14), so he certainly viewed Enoch as historical. Then he says that Enoch was in the seventh generation from Adam. Therefore according to Jude, Adam must have been historical since he had a historical descendant Enoch who prophesied about real men.

This Enoch is the same Enoch as in Jesus’ genealogy. Like his older brother Jesus, Jude would have learned this genealogical history from his mother Mary. Both Jesus and Jude believed their ancestor Adam was a real man. They would have scoffed at the notion Adam was figurative.

Christ and the Pharisees by Ernst Zimmerman, 1870-1944

Christ and the Pharisees by Ernst Zimmerman, 1870-1944

What Would Jesus Say?

Ten times in the Gospels Jesus uses the phrase “Have you not read” to introduce a Scripture-based argument (see for example Mark 12:24-27).

So if Jesus had been asked by the Pharisees whether Adam was real or not, He probably would have replied something like this:

“Have you not read in the Scriptures, ‘The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
Or again, have you never read, ‘Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son.
One does not make clothes for a myth, nor does a fable produce children.
Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?”

Beyond all doubt, Jesus certainly believed in Adam as a real historical person and the literal father of the human race. Those who claim Jesus as Lord must accept His view as their own.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Have you accepted Jesus’ authority by embracing His view of the historical Adam?
  2. Considering John‬ ‭5:46-47 and similar pronouncements by Jesus, what do you think He would say about red-letter New Testaments?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the third of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?

Read the sequels:
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam Be in Heaven?
33. Did Adam See the Big Dipper?
34. Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
35. Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
36. Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
37. Did Adam Like Steak?
38. Could Adam Read & Write?
39. Did God Use Evolution to Make Adam?
40. Adam & the Olympics
41. Adam and the Gospel
42. Adam and the Genesis Road

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 7, 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)

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