The Importance of the Historicity of Genesis Chapters 1-3 for Theology Proper, Anthropology, and Christology -- By: Micah Everett

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 03:1 (Jan 2011)
Article: The Importance of the Historicity of Genesis Chapters 1-3 for Theology Proper, Anthropology, and Christology
Author: Micah Everett


The Importance of the Historicity of
Genesis Chapters 1-3 for Theology Proper,
Anthropology, and Christology

Micah Everett

Perhaps no portion of Scripture is more frequently misunderstood and reinterpreted than the early chapters of the book of Genesis. The style and content of these chapters indicate that they are intended to convey an account of actual historical events and people,1 and yet many interpreters — including some who claim to hold to the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible — insist that these chapters should be read allegorically, if not mythically,2 and that doing so will not have a negative impact upon one’s view of the rest of Scripture.3 This interpretation defies the plainest reading of Scripture; is contrary to the New Testament, which readily refers to Adam (1 Tim. 2:13-14), Enoch (Jude 1:14), and Noah (Matt. 24:37-39) as historical figures; and lies outside of the mainstream of theological opinion as held throughout the history of the church.4 With some notable exceptions,5 theologians throughout the Church Age have agreed that these chapters neither demand nor even admit an allegorical interpretation, but instead must be interpreted as true history.6 Only in the past two centuries, in the face not of mounting scientific evidence but rather of mounting naturalistic and evolutionary interpretations

of the available evidence, has a historical reading of these chapters been abandoned in many sectors of the church.7

This abandonment has brought only catastrophe, including increasing unbelief, apostasy, and the decimation of churches and denominations.8 The whole of biblical teaching on the nature of God; the special creation, nature, and fall of man; and salvation from and victory over sin through the seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, is built upon a literal, historical understanding of the first three chapters of Genesis.9 When belief in the veracity of this crucial portion of Scripture is shaken, belief in those Scriptures that build and develop doctrines upon these early chapters is compromised as well. The abandonment of much or even the entirety o...

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