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.
In yesterday’s devo, we started looking at the historicity of Adam and Eve and the fact that, if they are literary devices and poetic images, the loss to the storyline of the Bible is catastrophic. Today we’ll look at 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 – and that Eve was the second. These arguments include the Genesis account, Luke’s genealogy, Paul’s theology, and Christ’s statement on Adam in Matthew and Mark.
The Genesis Account
Genesis 1-3 affirms Adam and Eve as real people in the creation account. Additionally, Genesis affirms the reality of Adam as a person by giving us the number of years that he physically lived, “Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died” (Genesis 5:5) and by giving an account of Adam fathering other figures in the Bible who are treated as real, physical people and not mythical constructs. (Genesis 4:1, 25; 5:3–4) It’s impossible to take the Genesis account of Adam as one of him being a mythical representative of humanity since he fathers singular children who are part of a historical genealogy. To do so clearly divorces the creation account from the context of the rest of the book and ignores the intent of the author of Genesis and—as we shall see—the rest of the biblical accounts regarding Adam.
The genealogy in Luke 3 is often recognized as one that explicitly expresses the humanity of Jesus Christ. While Matthew’s genealogy ties Christ to the Jewish people and John’s prologue refers to Jesus as God, Luke’s intention is to give a historical account of the life of Christ, which explains why it is also the only gospel written in chronological order – to show Jesus’ human life on the earth. Luke links Jesus to Joseph, David, Abraham, and, ultimately, Adam. It would make no sense for Luke to mention real person after real person only to come to the climax of his genealogy by mentioning a mythical figure. One who denies that Adam was a real person has reason to also question whether the rest of Luke’s figures are actual people as well.
If one denies that Adam was a real person, it is difficult to make sense of Paul’s analogy of the relationship between Christ and Adam. For one, as we’ve already mentioned, according to Paul, sin came into the world through one actual person (Romans 5:12). But more than that, in both 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45 and Romans 5:12–21, Paul makes a direct connection between Adam and Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says that Adam was the one person who brought sin into the world, and Jesus Christ is the one person who brings life where death previously reigned. It would be odd for Paul to compare something that he knew was an actual human person (Christ) to a literary figure.
In addition, in 1 Timothy 2:14, Paul says, “and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” It is incredibly difficult to argue that Paul did not view this deception as an actual historical occurrence. Again, in Acts 17:26, Paul says, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Here, once more, Paul talks about actual nations descending from one human person.
Christ on Adam and Eve
Even if one passes over Luke and Paul, one must deal with Jesus’ teachings. In Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4, Jesus refers to Genesis, speaking of God’s order in creating Adam and Eve and relating that literal act to the institution of marriage. It is difficult to think that God himself (Jesus) could be wrong about his own creative event since He was there as the Creator when it happened (John 1:1–2; Colossians 1:15–17).
In conclusion, when we look at Scripture itself, it’s clear there are numerous biblical reasons why Christians should affirm that Adam was both the first person and the first person—and there is no biblical evidence to support a denial of this truth. Rather, to deny this historical teaching of the church undermines the clear teaching of the Bible and fails to make sense of its storyline, as without a historical Adam and Eve, there is no fall and no need for redemption and no need for Jesus. The very basis of Christianity is effectively undermined. So, yes, Adam and Eve were real people who really sinned and because of them we really need the last Adam, Jesus Christ.
Which of these arguments is the most compelling in proving that Adam and Eve were real people? Thank God that He gives us multiple reasons and cross-references in His Word to believe what He says is true.
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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