Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping Pastors International Genesis
Are Adam And Eve For Real?
I. GOD’S REST 2:1-3
A. God finished His creation and rested. Since God does not tire physically, this means He ceased or desisted from His creative activity. NOTE: this section is part of chapter one, for it deals chronologically with creation.
B. God did not stop creation because he was fatigued but because He was through. Man was the zenith of God’s creation and God rested; there has been no creation since that time. Man was the last effort of God in creation on the physical level.
C. God set aside the Sabbath (meaning rest or seven) as a special day and there is a sense in which the Sabbath continues even today, for God’s physical creation has ceased forever. Israel was called to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (Ex. 20). Israel’s keeping of the Sabbath was a type of spiritual rest for the Church (cf. Col. 2:13; Heb. 4:9-10). NOTE: The Church has a Christian Sabbath under the New Covenant and it is called the Lord’s Day, Sunday the first day of the week when Christ rose from the dead (Rev. 1:10 cf Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-3).
II. MAN’S RELIGIOUS BEGINNINGS 2:4
A. “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth” undoubtedly go with what follows concerning man rather than to what has preceded concerning creation in general. Now God is going to concentrate our attention on man and his relation to God. This is the beginning of man’s religious history.
B. Satan has tried his utmost to discredit this section of Scripture in the minds of men. He will do his best to get men to reject Adam and Eve as historical persons. Satan has used two basic approaches to destroy man’s confidence in real God: (1) destroy man’s confidence in the integrity of the Bible, and (2) destroy man’s confidence in the historicity of the Bible.
1. Two Creation Accounts. The higher critics teach that Genesis 1 and 2 are two different and contradictory accounts of creation. This is related to the Wellhausen Theory on the authorship of the five books of the Pentateuch. They say that the first five books of the Old Testament were not written by Moses but are simply a compilation of stories, legends, tales, etc., gathered over centuries and put together by one or more scholars called redactors who lived as late as 500 years before Christ. This is some times called the
J.E.D.P. Theory for the Pentateuch can be traced to four main documents: The “J” document is characterized by name Jehovah (850 B.C.); the “E” document uses Elohim (750 B.C.); Deuteronomy is identified by “D” (721 B.C.); and the “P” (500 B.C.) points to the priestly code of Leviticus. POINT: These liberals hold to the belief that there are two creation accounts for the following reasons:
a. Different names for God. In Genesis 1 the title “God” (Eloheim) is used and the title Jehovah is never used. In Genesis chapter 2 the title Lord God (Jehovah Eloheim) is used. Therefore they conclude that document “E” was used in Genesis 1 and document “J” was used in Genesis 2. ANSWER: There is a divine reason for changing the name of deity in the two chapters. Eloheim speaks of the powerful God who creates and Genesis 1 is all about God’s creating activity; He is the Creator. But in Genesis 2, God is focusing His attention on man and His relationship to him. The title Jehovah speaks of a covenant-making God, who keeps His promises with His people.
b. Order of events. The chronological order of creation in Genesis 2 is man, vegetation, animals and woman, and this is contradictory with Genesis 1; therefore there is contradiction. ANSWER: Genesis I was not designed by God to be chronological for it gives us supplemental material on the creation of man as it relates to his religious responsibilities to God.
c. Different styles. There is some different vocabulary and different styles in Genesis 1 and 2. Thus there must be at least more than one writer. ANSWER: The difference in style is to be explained upon the basis of a difference in subject matter and in manner and treatment.
d. Different concepts of God. In Genesis 2 God is said to be conceived anthropomorphically (describing God by acts that men do) whereas in the first chapter this is not the case. In the second chapter God fashions, plants, talks, breathes, builds, and walks. Yet in Genesis 1, God is majestic Creator who by the word of His mouth brings into existence that which He desires. ANSWER: There are many conceptions of God in Genesis 1 that are also anthropomorphic. God is represented as saying, seeing, dividing, calling, blessing and resting.
e. Different subject matter. Genesis 1 and 2 have different subject matter. ANSWER: This is true and there is a purpose in it. The title “these are the generations of the heavens and the earth” refers to the things generated or begotten of the heaven and the earth; that is, man, thus Genesis 2 is supplementary and complementary to Genesis 1 on the creation of man.
f. Conclusion. The Wellhausen Theory (Documentary Theory) does not have support and has been abandoned by some liberals today, for it cannot be sustained by the facts. Many liberals still hold to it out of ignorance or pride. NOTE: If Genesis 1 and 2 present conflicting views, it is strange that the so-called redactor, whoever he may have been, did not notice any discrepancies. Apparently also, no one else noticed any until the advent of “criticism” in the 18th century.
2. The Myth of Adam and Eve. A more popular view today is that Adam and Eve were simply myths but were never historical persons who lived in time. The story of Adam and Eve gives us real truth without real fact; that is, we can learn much about ourselves through this story of Adam. Whoever the writer or writers of Genesis 1-3 were, they were attempting to convey to us great and mighty truths through the language of myth. There was no literal tree in a literal garden; no actual beings named Adam and Eve. And, of course, there was no talking serpent or forbidden fruit. POINT: It is much like the concept of Santa Claus. Everyone today knows that there is no real Santa Claus, but the idea behind Santa Claus--cheerfulness, fun, reward for good behavior and kindness -- are all true. If we forget the myth of Santa Claus, we still have left a core of truth which is conveyed to us by this story. This type of thinking is called Neo-orthodoxy.
a. Who determines what is myth and what is not? Where does myth end and history begin? If Adam and Eve are a myth then so is Cain and Abel. Then what about Noah and the Flood? Can the same be said for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? This is pure speculation and subjectivity. NOTE: Most liberals explain away the miraculous by using myths. Then is this to be carried over into the New Testament? What about the Virgin Birth, Incarnation or Second Advent? Once one admits that Adam and Eve are not historical persons but mythical people, there is no stopping in one’s mythology.
b. The testimony of Christ. Jesus Christ acknowledged the historical reality of Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4). To reject Adam and Eve is tantamount to rejecting Jesus Christ.
c. The testimony of Paul. The apostle Paul accepted Adam and Eve as real persons (cf. Rom. 5:12ff).
d. Destructive to Scripture. Men have invented myths so they could deny the miraculous and hold to evolution. But if the evolutionists are right, then there is no Adam and Eve, no Fall, no sin, and ultimately no Savior or salvation. NOTE: The historicity of Genesis 1-3 is essential to right Christian doctrine.
e. Christians are warned to avoid myths. Any type of myth has been rejected by the historic church (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16--the word “fable” means “myth”). We are warned that in the last days there will be much mythology inside the professing church 2 Tim. 4:4).