Does It Really Matter Whether Adam Was the First Man?

Mike Reeves: Evangelical Christians have generally resisted the demythologization of the Gospels whereby, for example, the resurrection of Jesus is interpreted as a mythical portrayal of the principle of new life. Indeed, they have argued strongly that it’s the very historicity of the resurrection that is so vital. However, when it regards the biblical figures of Adam and Eve, there has been a far greater willingness to interpret them as mythical or symbolic. The simple aim of this article is to show that, far from being a peripheral matter for fussy literalists, it is biblically and theologically necessary for Christians to believe in Adam as a historical person who fathered the entire human race. Adam Was a Historical Person Textual Evidence The early chapters of Genesis sometimes use the word ’ādām to mean “humankind” (e.g., Gen. 1:26–27), and since there is clearly a literary structure to those chapters, some have seen the figure of Adam as a literary device, rather than a historical

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