The Bible Teaches Adam was a Real Historical Figure

September 27, 2009

It is becoming increasingly common for those claiming to be Christians today to deny the historical accuracy of the first chapters of Genesis. Having accepted the Theory of Evolution, they are searching for a means to make those chapters fit with their scientific outlook. One big problem with this is Adam. If the first chapters of Genesis are not historically accurate, then Adam is not a historically real figure. He is made into some representative of mankind as it developed through evolutionary means. However, Adam stands out as an obstacle to wedding the scientific views of evolution with the Bible. No matter how we slice it, the Bible presents Adam as a real historical figure. Not only that but a historical figure upon which the truth of his existence as a real person is based several New Testament doctrines. Let me share with you a few biblical passages that show the Bible presents Adam as a real historical man.

  1. Genesis 5:1-5 presents a historical narrative with a genealogy. Adam stands at the head of that genealogy. Interestingly, he is even given a length of life. At 130 years old he had a son named Seth and then lived another 800 years. That is an odd way to speak of a person who never really existed but is just a mythical construct to represent mankind in general.
  2. In I Chronicles 1:1, Adam is placed again at the head of mankind’s genealogy. He is not presented as a mythical construct or an allegorical parable. He is listed as a real person. The obvious question would be if the Theory of Evolution is true and Adam, therefore, is not, at what point in this genealogy did the author move from not real people to real people?
  3. In Luke 3:23-38, the genealogy of Jesus is traced all the way back to Adam. He is once again presented as a real historical person who held a place in a real period of time. Once again we ask, at what point did this genealogy move from real people to unreal people?
  4. In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus based His teaching regarding divorce and remarriage on the creation of male and female, created that way from the beginning. Our marriage law is based on Adam’s marriage to Eve being a real marriage. Jesus clearly believed Adam was a real person. If we believe Jesus, we need to believe in Adam. If we can’t believe in Adam, then we must toss Jesus out as well.
  5. In Romans 5:12-21, Paul says sin entered the world through “one man.” The man to whom he attributes it is Adam. He is very specific. He does not say sin just entered some time in history as lower life forms evolved into humans. He says there was one man and sin came in through him. He is considered to be a type of Jesus. If we throw out Adam as a historical figure where does that leave us regarding Jesus? If we believe Paul, we must believe in Adam. If we can’t believe in Adam, we need to toss Paul’s writings out because he is wrong. By the way, this passage is truly important. Paul bases the teaching that Jesus saves us and removes our sins on His contrast with Adam as a real historical figure. If we throw out Adam, we throw out the doctrine of justification and life to all men through Jesus Christ as the second Adam.
  6. In the same passage above, Paul claims “death reigned from Adam to Moses.” Paul clearly sees that as a definitive period of time. He saw Adam as a real historical figure.
  7. In I Corinthians 11:8, Paul based his arguments regarding the covering on the Genesis account that woman was made from man and not man from woman, a concept that cannot fit with the Theory of Evolution. Paul saw that creation as a historical event upon which he could base teaching.
  8. In I Timothy 2:12-15, Paul based his instruction about women teaching within the congregation on the historical accuracy of the Genesis account of Adam and Eve’s creation. If God did not create them that way, then Paul’s argument falls flat.

Here is the point of all this. It may be that the Bible is completely wrong. Maybe God did not create Adam and Eve but rather humankind wound up on the earth through the evolutionary forces of nature. We need to examine the evidence and choose which of the two we will accept. However, let us not accept any laughable position that tries to wed the Scripture with the Theory of Evolution. If we accept the Theory of Evolution, we cannot accept Adam. If we cannot accept Adam, we cannot accept the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Special thanks to Jason Hardin for inspiring today’s article

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