- “...Genesis 1-2 presents them as actual persons and even narrates the important events in their lives...”
- “...they gave birth to literal children who did the same...”
- “...logically, there had to be a first real set of human beings, male and female, or else the race would have had no way to begin. The Bible calls this literal couple 'Adam and Eve', and there is no reason to doubt their real existence.”
(Quotes are from The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, pp. 31-32.)
But unfortunately – and in spite of arguments as bad as these – many Americans (56% according to one recent poll) actually believe that Adam and Eve were real people. It follows that raising questions about the Adam and Eve story probably isn't a complete waste of time.
With that in mind – or just for the fun of it – I offer the following list of difficulties, which go a little further than the well-known “where did Cain's wife come from?”
- If Adam and Eve didn't know the difference between good and evil prior to eating the forbidden fruit, then how could they be held accountable for what they did?
- If God didn't want anyone having knowledge of good and evil, why did he create the stupid tree in the first place? Why make such knowledge available, in other words – and by means of the eating of fruit that was “good for food” and “a delight to the eyes” (Gen 3:6), of all things? This sounds like a clear case of entrapment.
- What is bad about knowing the difference between good and evil anyway? Isn't that supposed to be a good thing to know?
- If the serpent in the Garden wasn't just a snake but was in fact Satan disguised, then why did God punish snakes? If the devil came to me in the form of a talking puppy and convinced me to do something wrong, would God take the legs away from all dogs and make them crawl around in the dirt too?
- Adam was warned (Gen 2:17) that on the day that he ate the forbidden fruit he would die, but instead lived several hundred additional years – an incredibly long time to be on death row even by the standards of our current legal system. Was the warning just an empty threat?
- After Cain kills Abel, he worries that “anyone who meets” him might kill him (Gen 4:14). But this was before Adam and Eve had any additional children, as one can see by Gen 4:25. So who were these people that Cain feared?
- How is it possible for 56% of the population to believe in any of this stuff?