We can imagine Moses having a collection of clay tablets, each created by an eye-witness to the events described, perhaps even people such as Adam, Seth and Enosh themselves. These records would have been compiled by the patriarch Jacob and brought to Egypt, where they could have been lodged in a royal archive by his son, Joseph, who had risen to become a big-shot in that land. Then this would have been found by another big-shot centuries later, Moses himself. We now have ourselves a reasonable explanation of how much of those early Genesis chapters could have been compiled.
This gives many problems to those of the “Greek” mindset. Genesis Chapters 1-11 have been dismissed by many as a mixture of legend, poetry and allegory. Why should this be so? From those chapters we get so much that is foundational to our faith, from Creation, marriage, sin and judgement to the sovereignty of God. This is important stuff and worthy of serious consideration.
The problem with the historical figures of these early chapters is that because they lived so long ago, and for what seems to be impossibly long lives, and because there is a relatively limited amount of information with which to construct well-rounded biographies, we tend to think of the accounts as legends or fables, giving room for doubts whether they actually existed.
Why shouldn’t they be real people? One problem with the “Greek” mind is Adam himself. It is very hard for scientists to accept the possibility of a first man, because their text books, their peers, their training and their worldview screams evolution and monkeys at them. There’s no room for the flesh-and-blood Adam and a monkey-ancestor in the same mindset, despite the effort of some Christians to construct a compromise that explains macroevolution as an acceptable tool of God in order to pander to what is widely taken to be a “scientific” view.
If you can’t accept Adam as the first man, created by God, then you’re going to have problems with the rest of this book. It’s all really a question of faith and submitting yourself totally, with a childlike attitude and a willingness to bypass the years of secular training that have created strata of disbelief in your mind. Otherwise that first domino will nudge the next, then the next and, before you know it, the carnage has spread into dangerous and troubling areas.
It goes something like this. Adam? Nah, fairy tale. Cain and Abel? A morality tale about brothers, isn’t it? Methusaleh? Give me a break! Noah and the Flood? Haven’t the scientists disproved this one? Tower of Babel? Now you’re being silly. Abraham …
Abraham. Only one chapter after Babel … yet isn’t he the father of our faith? Didn’t Jesus speak of him?
“So that they are blessed because of faith, with the faith of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:9)
“Y’shua said to them, “I most positively say to you, before Abraham was born I AM.” (John 8:58)
So he must have existed. Who says? If you’re going to doubt Adam, Cain, Abel, Methusaleh and Noah, then why suddenly believe in Abraham? Why do we consign the first eleven chapters of Genesis to “la-la-land”, yet decide that real history starts, in the next chapter, with Abraham?
Yes, Jesus speaks of Abraham. But he also speaks of Noah, Abel and Adam (by implication).
“For just as the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37)
“so would come upon you all the righteous blood being shed upon the earth from the blood of the righteous Abel until the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the Sanctuary and the altar.” (Matthew 23:35)
“And He said, “Have you not read that the One Who Created, from the beginning ‘He made them male and female?’” (Matthew 19:4)
We don’t pic ‘n’ mix God’s Word; it really is all or nothing.
For the previous article in this series, click here.
For the next article in this series, click here.
To find out what is my favourite book of the Bible, click here.
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Was Adam a real person?
Written by: Miriam Emenike
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