From time to time the issue appears on the net regarding the validity of the Genesis account. In particular the truth of the man/woman creation story is in question:
Is the story real? Should it be taken literally? Maybe it is not factual but rather, being something of a fable; useful to teach some general precept. Perhaps it is folklore or some mixture of truth.
Others maintain that Adam and Eve represent generic humanity and thus not in conflict with evolution theory. Evolution holds that the origin of man is a product of natural processes. Some Christians may be having difficulty with the account so they feel that the LORD used evolution as a mode of creation.
What I intend in this article is the following:
This article makes no claim to "prove" that God exists. The bible assumes that God exists:
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Ps 14:1)
Thus, the intent of this series is to help believers who struggle with the creation account in Genesis.
Let us consider the story of Adam and Eve revealed in Genesis. Most Christians are familiar with the story, if not then examine Genesis chapters 1-3.
Before going to Genesis, Paul in the new testament makes certain statements in regard to Adam and Eve as follows:
"For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and holiness with sobriety." (1 Tim 2:13-15)
"...Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. ... For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Rom 5:14-17)
"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife. and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Eph 5:31-32)
Note: Paul is citing Gen 2:24.
In view of the above Paul suggests that the relationship of Adam and Eve in marriage have some correlation of the Lord Jesus Christ to the church. Examine some comparisons of the Genesis account with relationships assumed thus:
Using these, the mystery unravels as follows:
|God made Man in his own image||Jesus Christ is "God made man"|
|God breathed into man||The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus|
|Adam was placed in authority over all creation||Jesus Christ is Lord of all.|
|Eve was taken out of Adam while he was in deep sleep||The church became possible by the death of Christ|
|Adam was not deceived, he fell for the sake of Eve's transgression.||Jesus gave his life willingly for the church (Jn 10:18) Being without sin became sin for his church. (2 Cor 5:21)|
|Adam is sent from the garden to till the ground; yielding thorns, thistles, and death||Jesus came from heaven to minister on earth in the face of persecution, suffering, crowned with thorns, and death|
|Adam "knowing" his wife||Making disciples is possible by brings children the church knowing Christ|
|Eve is the mother of all the living; bringing children with great labor pain.||The church is charged with making disciples; at the expense of great labor and persecution.|
|The man and woman are to be fruitful in producing children; salvation in child bearing.||Christ and the church bring many disciples|
|Adam was placed in headship over Eve; her desire is to him.||Jesus is the head of the church; the church's desire is for Jesus.|
|Man died knowing good and evil because of the woman .||Jesus died keeping the LAW (knowing good and evil) for the church's sin|
|The man is become as God; knowing good and evil.||Jesus Christ as God; knowing good and evil.|
|The serpent was commanded to crawl in the dust after the fall of man (Rev 12:11-13)||Satan was cast out to the earth because of the death of Jesus (Jn 12:31)|
|Adam is a son of God||Christ is son of God|
|Eve is the wife of Adam.||The church is the bride of Christ (Rev 19:7) (Jn 3:29)|
|God brought the woman to the man.||"No man can come to me, except the the Father, who hath sent me, draw him;..." (Jn 6:44)|
|A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.||Jesus leaves the Father and Holy Spirit to be joined to the church.|
Therefore we see in the Genesis account of the creation and fall of man, a full type or template of the redemption plan revealed in the bible. Indeed this is what Paul illustrates to the Corinthians:
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive;" (1 Cor 15:21-22)
From reading the Genesis account of Adam and Eve in the garden some have noticed there are sexual themes surrounding the account. This is not coincidental. The bible as a whole reveals a very strong thread in this regard. It goes like this:
Various sexual injunctions appear in the bible to insure the holiness of God's people. Disregard of these can cause serious spiritual consequences. These can be discerned with the understanding that scripture illustrates spiritual truth through the natural.
Actions in the flesh can cause a spiritual bonding. Man is body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes 5:23). Actions of one may affect another. For example:
Paul warns in 1 Cor 6:15-20 of the danger caused by sexual vice. Verse 17 adds: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit".
Marriage is declared as one flesh in Genesis 2 and Matthew 19. Making of woman was not entirely cloning; woman and her attributes were taken OUT OF man. Although different, together they make ONE. Genesis 1:27 says that the composite male/female Adam was made in the image of God. Therefore, sexual relationship of a man to man (or woman to woman) cannot be declared one and blessed in God's view of marriage; it is confusion.
The relationship of husband to wife in the bible is seen as the relationship of Christ to the church respectively. This is suggested by the "last Adam" description of Jesus. Consider the parallels illustrated in the Genesis account:
There are many more analogies (or types) of this sort in Genesis.
A man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife. This is the sign of what Jesus did for us as illustrated in marriage. Marriage is therefore a divine institution. When sexual behavior is guided by social custom, human sinful nature can yield vice.
Sexual immorality is placed in the context of idolatry by Revelation 2:14,20 & 17:4 and many prophetic books. Often the two are partners with apostasy! Consider the following scriptures:
Following these hard words, 1 Cor 6:11 puts them in perspective: "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Jesus loves sinners and is willing to cleanse sin. This is great news but we must recognize sin for what it is.
The end of the book of Judges reveals some of the darkest times in the history of Israel. Examine the progression shown in chapters 16-21:
In chapter 16 we see the mighty Samson. The anointed champion of Israel brought to destruction because of his passion for foreign woman. He defiled his Nazirite character in favor of Delilah. The contemporary trend of Gospel ministers falling to lust is sometimes called the "Samson Syndrome".
Chapter 17 reveals the man Micah who decided that he could institute his own system of idolatrous worship. He further used a Levite to establish credibility. Know that having a consecrated priesthood to support a teaching does not make it true!
Thinking that such a system has the support of the true God, the Danites in chapter 18 seize Micah's idols and priest. They maintain that a tribe of Israel lends better credibility (v.19). A false doctrine with wide-spread popularity is still a lie. Chapter 19 shows sexual sin of the Gibeah men of Benjamin. They are determined to abuse a Levite visitor in verse 22: "Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him". Failing this they settle for his woman; murdering her by gang rape.
When word of this atrocity gets to the people of Israel they initiate the Benjaminite wars in Chapter 20. Division in the house of Israel is the sad result in Chapter 21. Judges concludes:
"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did which was right in his own eyes". (Jud 21:25)
When men do what seems right to the eye, sexual and spiritual deviation is the consequence. Marriage ordained by God will be mocked while sexual relationships offensive to God are blessed. Practices of spiritism, astrology, transcendental meditation, and so forth will abound. What if someone suggests that the church sacrifice chickens on the altar! Although this sounds absurd, some people of Israel thought it was a good idea to make their children "pass through the fire". This is Satan mocking God that the wicked will not suffer the consequence of hell.
Jesus rebukes the Thyatiran church in Rev 2:20 for complacency toward "that woman Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." 1 Kings reveals that Jezebel's activities include: supporting pagan worship of Baal, attacking God's prophets, corruption and interference with leadership.
Therefore we can conclude that sexual deviation in the church is very serious and linked to departure from God. Notice in the news reports of priests/ministers charged with sexual misconduct. Pseudo Christian religions with bizarre and perverted sexual doctrines on the character of God are another evidence of this. Likewise in some of the mainline churches we see support for things like ordination of gays/lesbians and sanctification of same sex marriage relationships. And what does polygamy indicate? Yes, polygamy was tolerated in the OT but is never portrayed in a favorable light. Israel in the OT is seen as spiritually adulterous with many gods. This is part of the reason divorce was tolerated in the OT while the LORD says that he hates divorce. Israel was consequently "divorced".
Sexual relationships are seen as the highest physical expression of man to woman intimacy. They are illustrated as "types" or parallels of the spiritual relationship of God to his people. It is in Satan's interest to corrupt these. Indeed we saw earlier how God ordained marriage in Genesis with the intent of showing a natural pattern of redemption of Christ to the church. Therefore marriage must not be defiled.
In a previous post, we have seen how God ordained marriage in Eden to be a pattern of His relationship to his people. Paul explicitly declares this a "mystery" in Ephesians 5. Paul proceeds with instruction to husbands and wives:
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever ye hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church; For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and two shall be one flesh." (Eph 5:22-31)
Marriage sometimes appears confusing in the bible. Divorce is explicitly permitted by Mosaic Law. Polygamy is also permitted in the Old testament but never portrayed in a favourable light.
In Malachi 2:16 the LORD says that he hates divorce. Why would the LORD permit in the LAW something detestable?
In the new testament: Polygamy does not appear. Divorce is not permitted except in Matthew; the case of infidelity. Matthew is the gospel that mostly addresses the Jews.
May I suggest a sign in all this. Throughout the bible marriage is portrayed as the highest physical expression of the relationship of God to his people. In the Old testament Israel is shown as the wife of the LORD and in the New testament the church is identified as the bride of Christ.
Israel was spiritual adulterous with many gods or "wives" so polygamy was tolerated. Consequently, Israel was put away or "divorced" because of unfaithfulness.
Hear what the LAW says of divorce:
"When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die,.... Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife,..." (Deut 24:1-4)
Jesus says: "Wherefore they are no more two but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. .... Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." (MT 19:6-8)
While God's people may be put away under the LAW, the relationship of Jesus to his church has no divorce except perhaps in the case of adultery (idolatry). Further, having known Jesus in his death and resurrection, his people may not return to LAW; they are married (covenanted) to Jesus so long as he is alive!
What about relationships involving abuse, abandonment, or adultery? The bible also says that "no man hates his own flesh". If marriage is ordained by the LORD that "the two shall be one flesh"; can a relationship that involves abuse be what "God has brought together"? It is not in the pattern of biblical marriage; more likely what man has brought together!
The LORD loves his people:
"Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed, neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called; For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith my God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD, thy Redeemer. For this is like the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with thee or rebuke thee." (Is 54:4-9)
In Christian marriage we can understand how Jesus loves his people. This is why Paul is so careful to instruct on keeping marriage honorable and holy; it is according to the systematic teaching of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Paul is not, as some have asserted, sexist or biased with outdated tradition.
The LORD bids us to come:
"Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song 2:10)
"Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song 2:13)
"Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,..." (Song 4:8)
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Is 55:1)
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev 22:17)
There are many other properties of family relationships in the natural that have remarkable parallel in the relationship of the LORD to his people.
Genesis makes a distinction of two trees in the garden of Eden. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.
Knowing good and evil is to make moral decisions and thus decide what constitutes good or evil. God did not intend for man to make this choice.
Throughout the bible there are passages that contrast good and evil with life. These occur in both old and new testaments.
Consider Deuteronomy chapter 30:
"See, I have set before thee this day LIFE and GOOD, and DEATH and EVIL, In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances....I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may LIVE, That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy LIFE." (De 30:15-20)
In the book of Romans Paul describes the difference as follows:
"For that which I do I understand not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then, I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is GOOD. Now, then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no GOOD thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is GOOD I find not. For the GOOD that I would, I do not; but the EVIL which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that when I would do GOOD, EVIL is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Oh wretched man that I am Who shall deliver me from the body of this DEATH?" (Ro 7:15-24) (emphasis is mine)
Compare Romans 8:
"There is therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and DEATH. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit....For to be carnally minded is DEATH, but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace....And if Christ be in you, the body is DEAD because of sin, but the Spirit is LIFE because of righteousness.... For if ye live after the flesh, he shall DIE; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall LIVE." (Ro 8:1-13)
There are two "laws" revealed throughout the bible, the Law of Moses and the law of the LORD or Christ. Compare some of their features:
|LAW of Moses||Law of the LORD or Christ|
|Not perfect (Heb 7:19 8:7)||Perfect (Ps 19:7 Ja 1:25)|
|Curses imposed (Deut 27)||Blessing commanded (Mt 5)|
|Divorce permitted (Deut 24)||Divorce hated (Mt 5:32 Mal2:16)|
|Polygamy, Concubinage tolerated||One man one wive (Mt 19 Gen 2)|
|Written on stone (Ex 34)||Written in the heart (2 Cor 3:3)|
|The LORD veiled (Ex26,34 2Cor3:18)||Veil torn (Mt 27:51)|
|Animal sacrifice not removing sin (Heb 10:4)||One sacrifice cleansing sin (Heb 10:10)|
|Temporal priesthood (Aaronic) may be lost or taken away||Eternal priesthood (Melchizedek) no beginning or end (Ps110:4, Heb 7)|
|Sins accounted||Sin not remembered/imputed (Ps32,103)|
|Sign of circumcision "get the flesh out of the way!"||Sign of baptism "washed of sins"|
|law of the flesh (Rom 7)||law of the Spirit (Rom 8)|
|Law of sin, death, good, evil (Rom 7)||Law of peace, life (Rom 8)|
There are two trees in the garden; the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. Men are faced with a choice of good/evil or life. Choosing good/evil is making moral decisions and leads to death; evil is wickedness and good is self righteousness (only God is good).
Notice the final judgments at the end of the bible. The dead in Rev 20 are judged on the basis of certain books.
One of these are certain records of works (GOOD or EVIL) and the other is the book of LIFE. Anyone not found in the book of LIFE is cast into fire. (Rev 20:12-15)
Jesus Christ, knowing good and evil (keep LAW), died and rose to eternal life.
The bible speaks concerning Adam as a very real personage. For example Luke lists the genealogy from Christ to Adam with the last verse:
"Who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God." (Lk 3:38)
Paul comments of Adam:
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1Cor 15:22)
"When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam,..." (Deut 32:8)
Jude also mentions Adam:
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam..." (Jude 14)
Given these sorts of comments from diverse writers, it is evident the entire bible regards Adam as real.
Could Adam stand for generic humanity? The consistent teaching throughout the bible is that all humanity was brought into sin by ONE person. If Adam were general humanity then the conclusion would have to be that people individually fall into sin. However the bible shows that we are born into the sinful condition. Hence the idea that Adam represents humanity in general is inconsistent with the bible as a whole.
The popular notion that people are made in the image of God has no biblical justification. Adam, Angels, and Jesus are called "Sons of God". Notice that Genesis 5:3 says we are made in the image of Adam (a sinner). Christian parents does not mean the children are born saved! In the OT: elements associated with natural procreation; male seed, intercourse, and child birth are all described as "unclean" according to Leviticus 12 and 15. "Unclean" is a natural illustration of unsaved. People become children of God by adoption according to Romans. It is the spiritual parentage that determines divine acceptance. God has no grandchildren!
Could Adam and/or Eve have been descended from animals? Not according to the bible. For Adam to be truly a "Son of God" he must be begotten of God.
From all these scriptures I conclude that Adam and Eve are as real as God's redemptive plan through Jesus Christ. Further, to deny they are real is inconsistent with the New Testament as well as Genesis.
"And so it is written, The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit.... The first man is of the earth, earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven." (1 Cor 15:45-47)
"I am he; I am the first, I also am the last." (IS 48:12)
"I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (Rev 22:13)
Genesis, although highly symbolic, is not mere fable. It is consistent with the systematic theology of the entire bible.
Joe Byczcko has kindly supplied the following brief biographical information:
After reading the bible for about seven years I gave my life to Jesus Christ at a Christian men's weekend; April 1990. I have realized that, according to God's grace, Jesus has delivered me from darkness and transformed the purpose of my life. I have ministered in various bible studies and home fellowships, and am currently serving as Senior Warden at Christ Church, Watertown, Connecticut. In the absence of a pastor this is quite demanding of time. I have been married ten years with two sons. Both my wife and I are active in ministry at church---"... and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecc 4:12). I am a graduate of military electronics training (USAF) with an AS degree in Electrical technology and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. At present I am a Project Engineer for data communications equipment manufacturer, responsible for design, documentation, and testing of digital transmission equipment; also the design of related integrated circuitry ("ASICs") used for digital communication. As for hobbies, I like to fish (SW & FW). Also bicycle road riding.
Scriptural Quotations are from the King James Version (KJV).
January 2, 1996