According to author and Covenant Theological Seminary professor C. John Collins, “We need a real Adam and Eve if we are to make sense of the Bible and of life.” In his recent book, Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Who They Were and Why You Should Care, Collins sees the Adam and Eve narrative as the “worldview story” of the people of God. He illustrates how that story presupposes a real first couple, and how modern life brings us to the same conclusion. This isn’t just the tale of two people, Collins says; it is fundamentally the story that explains who we are, how we got this way, and what hope we have for any relief. ByFaith Editor Richard Doster asked Collins why the truth about Adam and Eve is so important.

Why do we need this book right now? What’s the problem this book solves?

This book began as an invited paper: I was asked to present the case for an actual, historical Adam and Eve at the headwaters of the human race — in other words, the traditional Christian view of our origins. Of course that means that people have come to doubt the tradition — to doubt whether it corresponds to the facts of our origins, or even whether its factuality is important. What leads to such doubts? Of course, different people will be moved by different considerations; but generally speaking there are three factors that are currently leading people to doubt that Adam and Eve were real people at the headwaters of the human race — or at least to doubt that it matters one way or the other.

First, there is the fact that the themes in Genesis parallel themes we find in stories from other ancient Near Eastern cultures; this leads some theologians to conclude that Genesis is just as “mythical” in its intentions and meanings as these other stories are.

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