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Jack Collins’s new book, Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care (Crossway), is now available. I hope this book strengthens our confidence in the biblical narrative, advances the discussion, and helps some to correct their course.

You can read a detailed outline of the argument and the introduction online.

Here is the publisher’s description:

“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 human life points to the same conclusion.

Applying well-informed critical thinking to questions raised by theologians and scientists alike, Collins asserts that only a real man could participate in God’s plan to use his human partners to bring blessing to the whole creation, a blessing that requires “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.

Here are some of the endorsements:

“Few scholars are better equipped than Professor C. John Collins to provide a well-informed, up-to-date assessment of what may and may not be known about Adam and Eve. With clarity, Collins offers a balanced discussion of the relationship between Genesis 2–3 and current theories on the origins of the human race. Recognizing the limitations of human knowledge, he highlights the vital contribution made by the Genesis account for understanding the human predicament. Marked by both erudition and sanity, here is a book worth reading.”
T. Desmond Alexander, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Director of Postgraduate Studies, Union Theological College

“It is not often that a book in this controversial field of human origins takes seriously both the Bible (in terms of textual exegesis, literary form, and theological coherence) and science (in terms of its findings and its theoretical possibilities). Jack Collins does both with graciously applied scholarship, conviction, and humility, making very clear where biblical faithfulness requires us to be uncompromisingly affirmative, and where there is room for varying opinion over possible scenarios that could be consistent with such biblical conviction.”
Christopher J. H. Wright, International Director, Langham Partnership International; author, The Mission of God

“Collins has done a great service to the church by providing us with this crucial volume. It will quickly prove to be a vital resource for pastors, students, and laypeople around the world. With careful scientific analysis and convincing biblical exegesis, Collins graciously answers the skeptics and thoroughly reinforces the historic Judeo-Christian position.”
Burk Parsons, Associate Pastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; editor, Tabletalk magazine

“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


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10 thoughts on “Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?”

  1. Chris Donato says:

    It appears, however, that those who’ve jettisoned reading the creation narrative as having anything to do with actual history will not be reached by this argument. Perhaps those, like myself, who would never want to diminish the authority of the Word while cautiously willing to entertain evolutionary explanations re: origins would benefit the most from this work.

  2. Ralph Davis says:

    Amen to that! I hope more people realize the incredibly speculative nature of “scientific” prehistoric accounts. True science involves hypothesis, experimentation, and (tentative) conclusion, and peer review…in REAL time–which simply is not available for (long) past events. Therefore everyone needs to take a large grain-of-salt when scientific-philosophers confidently explain events of tens, hundreds, or millions of years ago. We have no time-machine to travel back to test prehistoric hypotheses. If the nature of knowledge is BOTH discovered by conventional research, and REVEALED by a good and personal God, that changes everything.

    True, testable science, and biblical faith go hand-in-hand.

    1. J. Clark says:

      Good call Ralph. More needs to be written on this.

  3. Nate Archer says:

    This looks excellent. Thank you.

  4. Rebekah says:

    Sweet. This is a topic I’ve always wanted more clarity on.

  5. Craig Hurst says:

    I received my copy in the mail from Crossway and I look forward to reading and reviewing it soon!

  6. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    Only honest inerrantists affirm the historicity of Adam and Eve.

  7. Scott Barber says:

    Jack Collins is such a good writer. It is rare for someone that brilliant to be able to communicate so well to folks that are not on his same level intellectually. I look forward to reading this one.

  8. Matt Tully says:

    Excellent book. Collins does a great job building his case for a literal Adam and Eve. Check out a review at my blog.

  9. Dave Mackie says:

    Some readers may be interested to know that the same book has just been published by IVP in the United Kingdom.

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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