A New Book by Top Christian Apologist Forcing Revision of Christianity and Possibly Islam

The above video is a good summary of the book under discussion.

In Quest of the Historical Adam: A Biblical and Scientific Exploration

By William Lane Craig  (Author)

Was Adam a real historical person? And if so, who was he and when did he live? 

William Lane Craig sets out to answer these questions through a biblical and scientific investigation. He begins with an inquiry into the genre of Genesis 1–11, determining that it can most plausibly be classified as mytho-history—a narrative with both literary and historical value. He then moves into the New Testament, where he examines references to Adam in the words of Jesus and the writings of Paul, ultimately concluding that the entire Bible considers Adam the historical progenitor of the human race—a position that must therefore be accepted as a premise for Christians who take seriously the inspired truth of Scripture. 

Working from that foundation of biblical truth, Craig embarks upon an interdisciplinary survey of scientific evidence to determine where Adam could be most plausibly located in the evolutionary history of humankind, ultimately determining that Adam lived between 750,000 and 1,000,000 years ago as a member of the archaic human species Homo heidelbergensis. He concludes by reflecting theologically on his findings and asking what all this might mean for us as human beings created in the image of God, literally descended from a common ancestor—albeit one who lived in the remote past.

Buy the book in Amazon

Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Suggested additional reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times that will likely bring the reader to discover the landmine that William Lane Craig has stepped on:

The question that the renowned Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, is trying to answer in this book, I had brought to world’s attention, in an article that was published in the Muslim Sunrise in summer 2008: Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians.

Genuine attempts to understand the historical Adam has not only fundamental bearing on the Christian theology and Original Sin, but it has major implications on how to read and understand the holy Quran, in this age of information, as Adam is described as the first man in the Quran in at least seven places. Who is this first man, is he literally a person or is this a metaphorical concept?

The implications are huge on all three Abrahamic faiths.

In that spirit I am presenting this collection of articles.

Before we go any further, let me suggest to the open minded readers, to read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”

Let us start with the book of Genesis from the Old Testament:

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:20-25)

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

Surah Al Baqara (The Cow): Section 4: Adam and Eve

If the Atheists and the Christians Debate, Islam Wins!

Video: Original Sin Knocked out By Richard Dawkins

5 Old Testament Reasons Why “Original Sin” Doesn’t Work

The Root Cause of Conflict Between Religion and Science: Wrong Theology!

Science in the Service of the Scriptures

From the Muslim Sunrise: Truth and Science

Religion and Science: You Will Know the Truth and Truth Shall Set You Free

As regards reading and understanding the holy Quran, I suggest the following:

Scope, Style and Preservation of the Quran

The above video saved in the Muslim Times as well to preserve its longevity:

3 replies

  1. By Chris Watkin

    I was recently sent a pile of books to review for the 2022 Christianity Today book awards, including William Lane Craig’s In Quest of the Historical Adam. I’ve seen the controversy bubbling up around Craig’s book in recent days, especially in relation to his category of “mytho-history” and what it means for our interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.

    As someone who teaches texts at university for a living and have done a lot of thinking about literary genre, this is a debate I feel passionately about. So I have decided to publish some thoughts here about Craig’s book. The short version is this: “Myth” in the context of textual analysis does not mean “false”; broadly speaking it means “meaning-giving”, “archetypal” or “paradigm-setting”. See Mary Midgley’s The Myths we Live By. Also, thinking carefully about genre is not being unfaithful. Thinking carefully about genre is respecting the text.

    One of the greatest compliments I can give this book is to say that it is surprising. In the opening pages Craig quotes Richard Averbeck’s caution that “No matter what you say (or write) about the early chapters of Genesis, you are in a lot of trouble with a lot of people”, and when I began reading In Quest of the Historical Adam I fully expected to be one of those people. How wrong I was.

    What is so impressive about the route Craig navigates through this theological and cultural minefield – and it is also one of the defining characteristics of all his writing – is that it is so very measured and reasonable. The first part of the book surveys recent scholarship on the genre of ancient myth, asking whether the opening chapters of Genesis are intended to be read literalistically. The nuance and scholarship Craig brings to these chapters is impressive, drawing on the best of both Christian and non-Christian thought. While never letting go of a firm commitment to the truth of the Scriptures he brings to bear on his subject an impressive range of evidence, concluding that Genesis 1-3 are “mytho-history” and that the biblical genealogies mandate a historical Adam. The discussion of myth is worth the price of the book alone.

    The focus then turns to archaeology and paleoneurology as Craig brings recent scientific research into conversation with the biblical text. For what it’s worth, he concludes that Adam and Eve were likely Homo heidelbergensis, but in this reader’s eyes at least the great value of the book is less in its conclusion than its method. First, it works hard to take multiple disciplines seriously, giving weight both to the study of early myths and the study of early human remains. Perhaps there are moments when Craig stumbles – I am no palaeontologist and cannot judge – but what shines forth from this book is the determination to break out of disciplinary siloes and break away from the culture of fragmentation that blight modern scholarship both within and outside the church. For this, Craig is to be commended. Secondly, he is a patient and generous listener, letting each position have its say, in its own words, before drawing his own nuanced conclusions.

    Don’t come to this book expecting a quick answer to the question of the historical Adam, or a cheat sheet of arguments to defend your view. Craig is not in the business of giving his reader a fish; he wants to help her learn how to fish for herself. This is not a short book, but its careful and even-handed approach would be compromised in a slimmer volume. Readers willing to persevere through its 380 pages will not be disappointed.


  2. Without doubt, In Quest of the Historical Adam is one of the most intriguing, challenging, and brilliant books I’ve read in a very long time, and for anyone who actually cares about human origins including whether Adam was an historical person or not, William Lane Craig’s new book is a must read for sure. Fair warning up front— it is not an easy read because of the depth and breadth that Bill Craig covers in this 380 some page book. I had to laugh when on p. 320 in a footnote he says this is a popular level book! Not really. It’s an academic book of the highest order. For theology students I will say if you don’t know your science and evolution pretty well, you’re going to have to get up to speed to take in some of the crucial chapters in this book. It is a tour de force, which is not to say that I agree with all of Bill’s arguments.

    For example, I do not agree that Adam lived hundreds of thousands of years ago. I see no need to identify him as a particular specimen of, or contemporary of Heidelberg man. Indeed, I would say that Adam is a much more recent creature than that. Further, I don’t think it is necessary to argue that Adam is the literal ancestor of all current human beings. Neither the Genesis 2-3 account nor proper theology requires that. In fact I would argue that the Gen. 2-3 story is about the origins of God’s chosen people, the Hebrews. Indeed, after Gen. 1 which has a more universal perspective, the Bible is about God’s chosen people, and other peoples like say the Philistines only come into the account when they interact with the patriarchs, theHebrews, or later the Israelites, or finally with Jesus and his Gospel. But more about that in subsequent blog posts where I have a dialogue with Bill. Here I will say, the author has made an excellent case, and he could be right on various key factors and issues. He is certainly right that the earth is very old indeed, as are creatures on it, including a variety of humanoid ones. The question is, when and where do creatures created in God’s image come into the picture.

    This book is divided up into four major parts: 1) The Importance of the Historical Adam; 2) Biblical Data concerning the Historical Adam; 3) Scientific Evidence and the Historical Adam, and 4) Reflections on the Historical Adam. The book is well organized, relentlessly logical in the way Bill argues, and thoroughly researched. There can be no complaints on any of those fronts. And frankly one is amazed at Bill’s degree of knowledge in so many diverse fields. Interestingly, while Bill deals with and agrees with evolutionary science in detail, in the end he still has to posit a divine moment, or divine intervention when a certain Heidelberg man had a soul/spirit infused into him which was not simply the next step in an evolutionary process. I have heard this argument before from Catholic scholars. Of course the problem with this argument is that the Genesis story speaks of being ‘created’ in God’s image, not upgraded after millenia of existence. But Bill will argue the Genesis account in case cannot be taken absolutely literally, though it is historically referential. He sees it fitting into the category of mytho-history. I wondered why he didn’t consider the categories of legend or saga. In any case he is right that there are metaphorical, and figurative dimensions to these accounts in Gen. 2-3. I also wondered why he didn’t deal with the considerable body of OT scholarship which suggested that the ancient Hebrews were demythologizers, not myth makers. They took elements from ANE lore and demythologized them (e.g. in regard to the creature Leviathan— see the various works of G. Ernest Wright and others).


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