The Biblical Case for Adam and Eve
by J Warner Wallace
I’ve been investigating murders for over 20 years, and along the way, I’ve learned to appreciate the importance of language selection. Consider the following three statements:
“The Nuggets killed the Lakers last night. They beat ‘em by 25 points.”
“I love this comic; he always kills me!”
“I deeply regret killing my wife, and I wish I could turn back time.”
All three declarations acknowledge the proper definition of the word “kill,” yet only one of these statements is likely to be of interest to a jury in a murder trial. Every time we assess someone’s use of language, we must first examine the context in which the words were spoken. As a 35-year-old skeptic, reading the Bible thoroughly for the first time, I found myself examining the words of Scripture in an attempt to understand Moses’ meaning related to the first two characters in the Biblical narrative: Adam and Eve. Were they real human beings? Were they allegorical figures described by Moses in an attempt to illustrate the plight of early man? Were they written figuratively to represent all of humankind? I knew from my professional work as a detective that the surest way to understand a statement was simply to examine its context and to compare it to other proclamations made by the suspect. As a skeptical seeker, I took the same approach with Adam and Eve. After examining every passage of Scripture, I found the following:
Adam and Eve Were Regarded As Real People
In the earliest accounts of Adam and Eve, Moses described them singularly (in contrast to his plural descriptions of other animal groups). The waters were teeming with swarms of living creatures and the skies were filled with birds (Genesis 1:20); the earth was bringing forth living creatures after their kind (v.24), filling with beasts and cattle. God created with great plurality in every category of creature except humans. Adam and Eve were described as singular individuals. It’s difficult to consider them allegorically or representatively, given that Moses failed to use language that could assist us to do so.
Adam and Eve Responded As Real People
Moses also described Adam and Eve’s behavior in a manner consistent with the behavior of real people. Moses put specific words on their lips as they interacted in the Garden, and like other real people, Adam and Eve responded to one another (and to God). Adam and Eve gave birth to specific individuals, and Moses intentionally noted the age of Adam when some of his children were born (Genesis 5:3-4). Adam’s offspring (Cain, Abel, and Seth, for example) were identified by name and had a personal history of their own, just as we would expect if they, too, were real people.
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