Saturday, November 03, 2012

Book Review: Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care by C. John Collins

Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Who They Were and Why You Should Care is written by Dr. C. John Collins Professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary. This book is a well-written treatment on a topic that is currently being debated by a number of scientists and theologians who are seeking to redefine the traditional position which is that Adam and Eve were actually persons of whom every human being is a descendant of. Rather than giving his opinion of the topic, Dr. Collins goes to the Scriptures and explains them. The author doesn’t just stop at explaining the Scriptures but seeks to answer some of the objections that people are raising against the traditional understanding of Adam and Eve and does so winsomely.

Ideas have consequences. The issue of whether Adam and Eve are historical persons is a huge issue because Genesis presupposes they are. If Adam and Eve are not actual persons who lived then making sense of the Garden of Eden, the Fall and more makes no sense. Furthermore if we deny that Adam and Eve are literal persons then we deny how sin came into the world and the existence of sin becomes God’s fault or something that God could not avoid. Furthermore, the story of Adam and Even deals with the issue of who is sovereign—mankind or the Lord God Almighty? The answer that one gives to this question will also reveal the position one has on biblical authority which in turn affects how one views who Jesus is and what He has done in His death, burial and resurrection. As you can see the questions that are being asked about the historicity of Adam and Eve have relevance today, because they are foundational to what it means to have a biblical worldview.

Dr. Collins book is one that will help you to think through and understand the important role Adam and Eve play in redemptive history. Along the way the author answers the question: Did Adam and Eve really exist? And why should we care? This book will likely not stop the debate on Adam and Eve but it is an excellent introduction to this topic. This reviewer recommends you pick this book up and begin to learn why this issue is so important.

Apologetics 315 Book Reviewer Dave Jenkins is the Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, and a researcher for Docent Research Group. He enjoys biblical, systematic and historical theology and apologetics. More of his writing can be found at


  1. The Janitor November 3, 2012

    Recently, a YEC journal published some reviews of the book along with responses from Dr. Collins. See here

  2. MaryLou November 3, 2012

    Thanks for the review, Dave. I'm wondering if Collins is a young earth believer or if he attempts to marry evolution and God's process of creation. Can you tell me if he discusses those things?

    Thanks to you, Janitor, for the link. I look forward to reading those articles.

  3. Mr Veale November 4, 2012

    " Collins argues that the earth is old. But he rejects the Neo-Darwinian theory of purposeless evolution, and neither does he endorse a theistic version of purely gradual evolution. The reigning form of Neo-Darwinism in practice includes the (sometimes hidden) assumption that all physical processes on earth are fully naturalistic and purposeless; in this view, God is irrelevant. A Christian must reject the idea of purposelessness, which is a philosophical premise rather than an empirical result. And Collins remains suspicious of theistic evolution, because God can, when he wishes, work supernaturally, and he has in fact done so in the creation of Adam and Eve. Collins commends the movement advocating intelligent design, which he rightly points out has been unfairly vilified by its opponents."


  4. MaryLou November 4, 2012

    Thank you, Graham. I appreciate that.