Paul taught much about the role of men and women in church. Paul justified it by citing the real history of Genesis. He wrote: ‘For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man’ (1 Corinthians 11:8–9). Thus, Paul accepts the Genesis history that God created first Adam, who then named all the land vertebrate animals that God had previously created, then God made Eve from Adam’s rib—she was not an evolved apewoman! However, later on Paul points out: ‘In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God’ (1 Corinthians 11:11–12). Here, Paul is following Genesis as well, for Adam named his wife Eve because she would become ‘the mother of all the living’ (Genesis 3:20).
Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”’ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.
An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?
However, the critic has overlooked something even more important—Genesis is written as real history. This is why the rest of the Bible treats the events, people, and time sequences as real history—not parables, poetry, or allegory.
What Does the Rest of Scripture Say?
The Age and Unique Creation of Adam and Eve Mattered to Jesus
When teaching about marriage, Jesus said:
‘But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female. … For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one’ (Mark 10:6–8).
Here, Jesus quoted Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 about a real first man and first woman who became the first couple, and this was the basis for marriage between one man and one woman today. Not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or more than two people. Evolution teaches instead that a whole population of humans evolved from a population of ape-like creatures.
Also, in the context of what Jesus quoted, the two become one flesh because Eve was taken from Adam’s flesh, and a man leaves his parents because Adam had none. Furthermore, Jesus said that Adam and Eve were there ‘from the beginning of creation’, not billions of years later.
Far too few Christians defend the foundation of marriage—the recent creation of Adam and Eve as Jesus taught. Then they wonder why sinful deviant acts such as adultery, fornication and homosexual behaviour are increasing, even within the church.
The Timeframe of Creation Week Matters to God
God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger. The 4th one is:
‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.’
The reason he gave is:
‘For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.’
Clearly the timeframe is important, otherwise this Commandment is meaningless. And if the creation days were really long periods of time, then logically the days of the working week would have to be as well. But ‘Work for 6 billion years and rest for one billion years’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it …
Adam’s Sin Bringing Death Mattered to Paul’s Preaching of the Gospel
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explains the Gospel he had taught these people, and how central Jesus’ Resurrection is. And he explains why Jesus came to die:
‘For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. … So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit’ (1 Corinthians 15:21–22, 45).