Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world

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The Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve naked in the Garden.
Adam and Eve naked in the Garden.

A real garden, or a parable that can teach something about human nature?

Some people say that the Garden of Eden is just a parable, to teach us some moral truths and that it never really existed.

But in the Bible we are always told whether something is a parable – an invented story, or whether it is a true story:

Jesus told them another parable ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like …” *

Or it is quite obvious that the story is not meant to be taken literally:
Jotham climbed a mountain and shouted out:

…One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves….’ **

There is nothing in the Garden of Eden story which tells us that it is a parable or a fable.
Also Adam is mentioned in the New Testament 9 times and Eve 4 times, and each time they are treated as real people who lived at some point in history.
The writer of Genesis also gives 15 geographical facts, eleven of which have been written in the present tense. For example:

‘…land of Havilah where there is gold…’ ***

So these things must have been real and known to the writer.

* Judges 9:8
**  Matthew 13:24
*** Genesis 2:11

Peter Reason

December 2011

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