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Adam and Eve, Myth or History?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
‘We will ... not dream of arguing that the Biblical Adam and Eve were actual historical figures’ (I Wilson, The Bible is History, Regnery Publishing, 1999, p 16). This statement means that the existence of these Biblical characters is unproven. That will then mean that the Bible’s account is not real history. That would destroy faith in the Bible as the revelation of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and written down by men.
But....., myths do not influence history. Adam and Eve do. We experience it daily. Let us consider three every day examples:
1. Marriage. God created Adam. He needed a companion. God made a wife for him and brought her to him. The first married couple was God’s idea. Marriage was to be characterized by exclusive love between a man and a woman. The man would leave his father and mother and become united to his wife. With the fall of man, the marriage relationship was opened to the effects of sin. What do we see in contemporary society? There are marriages characterized by love, peace, and friendship. But there are far too many broken marriage relationships, heartache, jealousy, retaliation, and children suffering as a consequence. The reason: Adam and Eve are not mythical figures, but real historical ones.
2. Rebellion against God’s Word. Adam was created with the ability to make choices. God gave him a choice: to listen to and obey either God or the devil. God’s words to Adam in the Garden of Eden were ‘you are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’ (Genesis 2:16,17). The devil opposed these words directly by saying ‘you will not surely die’ (Genesis 3:5). He had a very good argument: God was lying, and robbing man of his potential as a human being to attain to great heights and become like God. Of course it was a lie. Man was already like God, because he had been made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27)! Adam chose to believe the devil’s contradiction of God’s word, and lost his perfect life. Those words of God to Adam can, in our day, be substituted with the Word of God, the Bible. Then we see exactly the same happening today, namely the direct contradiction of God’s word by the devil. In general, there is a massive opposition to the Bible. Just as Adam was advised that God is lying, people today get the same message: the Bible is not God’s Word, not worth believing. The reason: Adam and Eve were real historical figures.
3. The rule of society. Adam was given authority to rule over the planet (Genesis 1:28). With his submission to the devil’s lies, this authority was given to the devil. Therefore this invisible spirit rules society today by influencing the minds of men, opposing God by introducing a sinful, godless lifestyle. One day he will be thrown in hell, but until then, he is the prince of this world (John 14:30, 16:11). The newspapers daily tell us the message of the devil: pornography, drugs, alcohol, violence, murder, immorality, rape, theft. We live in a sinful society, because of Adam and Eve’s wrong choice. They were real historical figures.