I realize that non-Christians don’t hold to the truth that Adam and Eve were real people. It is part of their job description as non-believers. But I’m mystified that many of those claiming the name of Christ would deny this. (OK, I’m not that mystified, because those not believing that are either false teachers or “saved and confused.”).
The list below has all the verses mentioning Adam by name. None even hint that he is allegorical. And there are also passages like Mark 10:7-9 that refer to Adam and Eve, just not by name. (“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”)
Key theological concepts like original sin make no sense if Adam and Eve weren’t real. (And to save keystrokes for the skeptics, yes, I know you think it doesn’t make sense either way. I’m addressing this to professing believers.)
Also, as Kevin DeYoung points out in his commentary on 1 Chronicles, think about what it meant to the first readers (and readers for thousands of years after that):
Are we really to think that any Jew reading 1 Chronicles (or any Christian up until very recently for that matter) would have read the genealogies as anything other than true historical truth? The Chronicler’s whole aim is to recount history. And everything in the Israelite worldview underlines the importance of God’s dealing in real time and space. Nothing suggests that 1 Chronicles is mixing in some fantastic über-man with blood and guts real men.
That kind of genealogy wouldn’t begin to make sense, not to the Jews and not to us. It’d be like starting your family tree with the Jolly Green Giant and Paul Bunyan. It’d be like writing a biography that begins with Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke and then goes on to his son Hugh Hodge and his son Charles and his son Archibald Alexander. Not very convincing.
And not very encouraging for a bunch of exiles trying to figure out who they really are.
Here’s a PleaseConvinceMe.com Podcast about Adam and Eve.
The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;Genesis 3:21 ESV
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.Genesis 4:1 ESV
[Cain and Abel] Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”Genesis 5:1 ESV
[Adam's Descendants to Noah] This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.Genesis 5:3 ESV
When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.Genesis 5:4 ESV
The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters.Genesis 5:5 ESV
Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.Joshua 3:16 ESV
the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.
1 Chronicles 1:1 ESV
[From Adam to Abraham] Adam, Seth, Enosh;
Hosea 6:7 ESV
But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.
Luke 3:38 ESV
the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Romans 5:12 ESV
[Death in Adam, Life in Christ] Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned–
Romans 5:14 ESV
Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:45 ESV
Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Timothy 2:13 ESV
For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
1 Timothy 2:14 ESV
and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Jude 1:14 ESV
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,