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Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? by C. John Collins was published by IVP in March 2011 and is our 17333rd best seller. The ISBN for Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? is 9781844745258.
‘The author’ (of the opening chapters of Genesis) ‘was talking about what he thought were actual events.’ That is the ‘traditional’ view that C. John Collins defends in this book. The story of Adam and Eve really took place, along with their ‘first disobedience’, which allowed the ‘alien intruder’ that is sin to enter into human experience. Collins claims to back up his case by exploring texts from both Old and New Testament, and from Second Temple Jewish Literature. He deals quite helpfully with such matters as ‘worldview’, myth, history (including prehistory and protohistory), and the image of God. He devotes a long appendix to other ancient Near Eastern texts, giving illuminating comparisons and contrasts between them and Genesis 1-11; there is another, much shorter appendix on the date of the events in Genesis 1-5.
I feel that Collins shows some graciousness to those he disagrees with, notably James Barr and Francis Collins (no relation, I presume) of the BioLogos Foundation. He doesn’t hide his dissent, but he does say, ‘I will not confine my conversation partners to people who already agree with me! I do not claim to have solved every problem or to have dealt with every possible objection.’ That is honest. ‘But I trust I have shown why the traditional understanding of Adam and Eve as our first parents… is worthy of our confidence and adherence.’ The reader must decide.
'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 heological 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
'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, Belfast
'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
'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
|Author / Artist||C. John Collins|
|Publisher||IVP (March 2011)|
|Number of Pages||192|
|Page last updated||28th January 2017|