It’s becoming increasingly popular among many Christians to claim that Old Testament characters, especially Adam and Eve, and events such as the worldwide Flood weren’t literal people or historical events. They claim they were just figures or stories created to teach some kind of theological lesson. But does biblical revelation support this position?
Well, the writers of the New Testament, or those whose words are recorded in it, certainly wouldn’t agree with these Christians. Paul, writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, clearly speaks against biological evolution and the idea of a nonliteral Adam and Eve when he states,
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13)
In 1 Corinthians he again confirms the Genesis account of Eve being made from Adam:
For man is not from woman, but woman from man. (1 Corinthians 11:8)
The New Testament writer Jude, in his short epistle, lists Adam as an historical individual:
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam. (Jude 14)
Others claim that the account of Noah and the Flood is not history but was borrowed from ancient Near Eastern cultures to teach a theological truth about God. But if that's true then the Apostle Peter, the author of Hebrews, and Jesus Christ—the Creator God in the flesh!—all lied because they taught that Noah was a historical individual and that the Flood really happened (Matthew 24:37; Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 3:5–7).
If Genesis is myth then the gospel—as it's foreshadowed in Genesis 3:15 and 21—is myth also. The gospel is founded in Genesis and grounded in a literal Adam who literally sinned and brought literal death into creation as the penalty for sin. If Noah is a myth, then so are all those listed in Hebrews 11, such as Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and others. Genesis is literal history!
Genesis is literal history!
You can learn more about the importance and relevance of a literal Genesis in my DVD presentation Relevance of Genesis, part of The Foundations collection. You can find this DVD and the whole collection at our online store. Many churches are using this DVD set (12 30-minute videos with teacher and student guides) as their foundational apologetics curriculum for young people and adults! And we’re getting rave reviews from churches.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.