20 Jan Were Adam and Eve Real People or Not? Part 1
Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
This question of the historicity of Adam and Eve is important because it’s the foundation of the biblical story. If they are literary devices and poetic images, the loss to the storyline of the Bible is catastrophic. Without a real Adam and Eve, the Bible loses its basis for the Fall, sin, the need for redemption, and the need for Jesus and atonement.
What the Bible says About Adam and Eve
While the issues at stake are often quite confusing, it’s apparent as we look at Scripture that it teaches the truth that Adam—and by extension Eve—were the first persons and that they were also the first persons.
Adam is the first person. One of the main reasons that Christians must affirm that Adam was the first human being to exist is the doctrine of the Fall and original sin.
Genesis 3:17 says, “And to Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, “You shall not eat of it,” cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life…’” Here we see that God, as a result of Adam’s sin, pronounces a curse upon Adam and all humanity after him.
Christians take seriously the fact that God made all things good and without sin (Genesis 1:31) and this has important ramifications for the consummation and new creation (Revelation 21). Yet Adam, as the first person, brought sin into the world and tainted God’s perfect creation. Romans 5:12 says that “sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” and Romans 6:23 says that “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Based on what Scripture itself teaches, the Christian must be able to affirm the truth that Adam was the first person, through whom sin entered the world, in order to speak of Christ as the “last Adam,” through whom sin and its curse—death—were vanquished (1 Corinthians 15:45).
There are at least five scriptural arguments that affirm the truth that Adam was not only the first person but also that he was the first person—a real human being: the Genesis account, Luke’s genealogy, Paul’s theology, and Christ’s statement on Adam in Matthew and Mark. We will look at those more in tomorrow’s devotional.
Before reading this devo, did you believe Adam and Eve were real people or simply literary devices and poetic images? Has your view on that changed?
To help you study the book of Genesis with us, we have the first of three free e-book study guides here.
For a free PDF of Pastor Mark and Dr. Breshears’ Doctrine book, click here as chapter 4 specifically addresses the fact that man and woman were created in God’s image.
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