Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?
Who They Were and Why You Should Care
“We need a real Adam and Eve if we are to make sense of the Bible and of life,” argues C. John Collins. Examining the biblical storyline as the worldview story of the people of God, Collins shows how that story presupposes a real Adam and Eve and how the modern experience of life points to the same conclusion.
Applying well-informed critical thinking to common theological and scientific questions, Collins asserts the importance of a real man at the beginning in God’s plan for creation, a plan that includes “redemption” for all people since sin entered the world.
Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? addresses both biblical and Jewish texts and contains extensive appendices to examine how the material in Genesis relates to similar material from Mesopotamian myths. Collins’s detailed analysis of the relevant texts will instill confidence in readers that the traditional Christian story equips them better than any alternatives to engage the life that they actually encounter in the modern world.
“Dr. Collins has presented a careful defense of the existence of the historical Adam and Eve. This methodologically rigorous study reflects a critical awareness of contemporary discussions on both biblical and extra-biblical literature and further contributes to the wider discussion on science and religion. Perhaps more importantly, he has successfully demonstrated the theological significance of this traditional reading, all the while using language that an informed layperson can digest and engage. This work deserves to be widely circulated.”
— David W. Pao, Chair of the New Testament Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Working through questions of myth and history, Bible and science, harmonization and complementarity, Collins brings fresh arguments to stimulate wide-ranging thought and improved appreciation of the way the first chapters of the Bible affect the whole.”
— Alan Millard, Emeritus Rankin Professor of Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages, The University of Liverpool
“I could hardly imagine a more honest book on this controversial topic. Its openness (in a user-friendly format) is no naivety—it is combined with undeniable competence on the ancient Near East, recent literature, and methodological discussions. Standing firm on vital issues, accepting diversity on others, the reader meets in C. John Collins a sensitive and godly guide.”
— Henri A. Blocher, formerly Gunther Knoedler Professor of Systematic Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School
Table of Contents
- The Shape of the Biblical Story
- Particular Texts that Speak of Adam and Eve
- Human Uniqueness and Dignity
- Can Science Help us Pinpoint Adam and Eve?
- Ancient Near East Texts and Genesis 1-11
- Review of James Barr, The Garden of Eden and the Hope of Immortality
- The Date of Genesis
About the Author
C. John Collins (PhD, University of Liverpool) is professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. John has been a research engineer, church-planter, and teacher. He was the Old Testament Chairman for the English Standard Version Bible. He is also author of The God of Miracles, Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?, and Genesis 1–4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary. John and his wife have two grown children.