Is Adam a real historical person? This is a question many theistic evolutionists ask. Many conclude that he is not, or if he did exist, he was not the ancestor of all humanity. Obviously, this is not a position young earth creationists take but why? How does this position threaten the authority of God’s Word? This article will examine the Biblical case for the necessity of Adam being the father of all living humans.
Adam is mentioned twenty-eight separate times in the Scriptures. Seventeen of those mentions are in the first five chapters of Genesis. Those verses are largely dismissed as allegorical or poetic by the theistic evolutionists in their attempt to shoe-horn millions of years into the Bible. Many evolutionary creationists regard Adam as an allegory for “everyman” since the word Adam in Hebrew means “man” However, later books of the Bible most definitely do not regard Adam’s existence as an allegory. Consider the following passage from Job 31:33. “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:” This reference is to Genesis 3:8. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Adam tried to hide his sin from God and Job is comparing his actions to those of Adam.
However, it is the New Testament which holds the most serious repercussions for insisting on a non-literal Adam. Adam is mentioned in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus. This holds theological significance as we shall see in a moment. Romans 5:14 tells us that all men have sinned just like Adam and that Adam was a picture of someone that was to come. 1 Corinthians clears up the ambiguity about who that might be. It is the seed of the woman promised in Genesis 3:15. As Paul is discussing the necessity to Christianity of Christ’s bodily resurrection, he explains the origin of death itself. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 tells us. The point is clear. Man, Adam, introduced death into the world, but the God-Man, Christ, came to make man alive again. Romans 5:12 confirms that it was man that brought sin into the world, with its associated consequence, death.
The most damaging passage for the theistic evolutionist in their quest to eliminate a historical Adam is unquestionable 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 which I have reproduced in its entirety below.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
This ties so strongly back to Genesis that the links are impossible to ignore. The first Adam was made a living soul. Where does that come from? Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Nearly identical phrasing. The first man is of the earth. What did God form the man out of? The dust of the ground or the earth. We bear the image of the earthy man, which both 1 Corinthians and Genesis refer to as Adam. The phrase literally means “to wear a likeness.” How could we do that if he were not our ancestor?
The most damaging piece, however, comes from tying it all together. 1 Corinthians refers to Adam as the first man. It also says the first man brought death into the world. It further says that the last Adam, Christ, would bring resurrection from the dead. I don’t know of any theistic evolutionist who would deny that Christ rose from the dead and that He will one day raise His saints from the dead. Yet, by denying that Adam was the first man or that he even existed, they are denying that Christ can make us alive. If humanity did not die in Adam, what need or power does Christ have to make us alive?
This is the kind of tortured logic that occurs when God’s Word takes a back seat to man’s word. There simply is no other way to put this. Theistic evolution contorts and twists the plain meaning of Scripture in an attempt to fit man’s ideas about origins into God’s holy Word. In doing so, they throw out the foundation of the doctrine of redemption. If Genesis 1-11 is allegory, then there is no original sin. If mankind has no sin nature, then he should, in theory, be able to live a sinless life and earn heaven. If man can earn heaven, then Christ did not need to die. The last three sentences, of course, are heresy and the Bible clearly teaches against them. Yet they are simply the result of taking Genesis allegorically to its logical conclusion. Theistic evolution, when taken to its logical conclusion, ultimately denies that man needs a Savior because he did not sin in Adam. This is why it is atheism-lite. Adam must have been the first man, and he must have done exactly what Genesis says he did for the doctrine of redemption to work.