The Historicity Of Adam: The Biblical Evidence -- By: Norman L. Geisler

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 12:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: The Historicity Of Adam: The Biblical Evidence
Author: Norman L. Geisler


The Historicity Of Adam: The Biblical Evidence

Norman L. Geisler

© 2014

Dr. Norman Geisler, Ph.D., is currently Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of Apologetics at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Santa Ana, CA. He also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary, which he co–founded in 1992. He previously served as a professor at some of the finest seminaries in the U.S., including Trinity Evangelical Seminary and Dallas Seminary. He has authored/coauthored almost 90 books and hundreds of articles.

The challenge to a belief in a literal Adam comes from many quarters. Most often it is scientific, not biblical. Surprisingly, an increasing number of evangelicals are joining the ranks. A noted evangelical scientist, Francis Collins, Biologos advocate of theistic evolution, wrote, “Literalist readings of Genesis imply that God specially created Adam and Eve, and that all humans are descended from these original parents. Such readings, unfortunately, do not fit the evidence. . . . Recently acquired genetic evidence points to a population of several thousand people [Out of Africa Theory] whom all humans have descended, not just two.” He added, “. . . there is no process1 by which

an adult person can be made quickly from a rib. (Cloning would take thirty years and require technology that probably wasn’t available in the Garden of Eden!).”2

What difference does it make? Jack Collins, author of Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? insists that “the actual historicity of Adam and Eve is extremely important as a fundamental Christian doctrine. . . . Christian doctrine is best understood as the true story of who we are and how we got to be where we are. . . . It will all come apart if we don’t tell the story with the proper beginning.”3 He adds, “If we take the idea of a purely natural process from molecules to mankind, then I think that is very difficult to square with the Bible. . . . It might even be impossible.”4

To say the least, there are serious theological implications as to whether Adam was created by God as the first human being. Adam’s nature, the origin of sin, the nature of salvation, and his unity are all wound up in this issue. As David John West of the Discovery Institute, a leader in the Intelligent Design movement, put it succinctly, if the first human beings were not created morally good, then “if you deny that th...

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