In my previous post (here), one of my faithful readers, The Word of Me, brought up in the comments that fact that many Old Testament tales—such as Adam and Eve, the Great Flood, and so on—don’t bear up under scientific scrutiny.
And certainly, he’s right. There is no evidence of a global flood. Humanity didn’t begin 7,000 years ago. Language differences didn’t begin at the site of the Tower of Babel. I could go on, but I won’t, because it isn’t necessary.
His point was that is such material is false, then the whole Bible is suspect, and must be assumed to be false. And therefore, taken to the logical extreme, if there was no Adam and Eve and original sin or any of that other stuff, there would be no need for Jesus and therefore Jesus wasn’t the son of God. Not that there is a God, of course, in TWOM’s view.
I don’t fault TWOM’s reasoning. That is, if you begin from the standpoint that the Bible is a pack of myths or lies or both, then it all falls apart.
But why do all the stories in the Old Testament have to be literal? Particularly those appearing in Genesis.
It is a fault of both the atheist/agnostic camps and the fundamentalist/Bible literalism camps that the stories in the Bible must be true in order for God to be true. Both sides are dead wrong.
Look at Jesus. He told parables. He didn’t say, “this is an allegorical story” when he told them. He told them as if they were stories of real people and real situations. And it’s clear that many of those stories, perhaps none of them, had to do with real scenarios of which Jesus was aware. That did not, however, diminish the importance or value of those stories for teaching lessons and revealing truths.
The Son follows the example of the Father. Why can’t the Old Testament stories be parables writ larger, speaking to greater truths? Truths about human failings, broken connections with the divine, the need for redemption, the love of God, and so much more.
Whether there was a literal couple named Adam and Eve doesn’t matter. Whether the global flood really covered the Earth, or flooded a mere nation or valley, or never happened at all, also doesn’t matter. What matters is that God has shown Himself to humanity for millennia, most notably through his son, whose message and legacy endures, against all odds, even to this day.