Tremper Longman Responds to Justin Taylor on the Historicity of Adam

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TylerR's picture


In the late 19th century, as the fight against liberalism was ramping up, I suspect Longman's statement:

I’m not insisting that Adam’s not historical, I’m just saying that if it turns out that he’s not, then it’s not going to undermine the truth of Genesis or Romans 5:12  and following.


for him it’s an open question as to whether or not Adam was a literal, historical figure, and that to “insist” that Gen 1-2 conveys this is dependent on a “very highly literalistic” reading.

would have been condemned as a capitulation to liberalism. Now, Longman is celebrated as a "conservative" scholar. Will the "conservative" label continue to stick? He doesn't deserve the label. I hope he is banished to the liberal camp like Peter Enns. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture


Longman gets very quickly to a false disjunction, and much--if not all--of his view rests on it. The disjunction: that Genesis is not interested in telling us how God created, but that He created. Why isn't it doing both? Why does it have to be one or the other? If there is zero interest in "how," why we do we have two chapters rather simply a sentence: "God made everything including the first people"? (Or better yet in this view "God saw to it that everything eventually came to be.")

Further, rather than citing evidence that Paul didn't necessarily see Adam and Eve as historical, Longman just quotes some people saying so. Granted, it's a really short post, but if these cited authorities offer any arguments in support of their views, it would be nice to see at least a summary of that support.  (No, the idea that Paul may have seen some figurative elements in the account--an assertion which itself needs support--is not evidence that he saw the whole as figurative.)

The post is a study in poor reasoning.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.