Written by: Paul Taylor

The Bible teaches us that Adam was a real person. We have plenty of articles on that subject. Just so that there is no misunderstanding on this point, it is an essential part of the teaching of this ministry that Adam was a real person, who committed a real sin by eating a real fruit, imputing real sin to all his descendants (i.e., the entire human race), and our only hope of salvation from that sin is through the sacrifice of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.
But this article is not on that subject. Many people today claim to have rejected the “myth” of Adam. The purpose of this article is to examine what exactly these people have rejected. I would suggest that many such people have not rejected the biblical account, because they have not read the biblical account. Instead, they have rejected a “mythology” of Adam — a sort-of popular Adam, who has developed, particularly in European mythology, over centuries. This mythological Adam has significant differences from the true Adam of the Bible.

The mythological Adam is probably well summed up in the words of a medieval English Christmas carol, which is often sung after the first Bible reading in Anglican carol services — “Adam lay i-bowndyn.” The carol seems to have four stanzas, the first two of which are:

Adam lay i-bowndyn,
bowndyn in a bond,
Fowre thowsand wynter
thowt he not to long

And al was for an appil,
an appil that he tok.
As clerkes fyndyn wretyn
in here book.

The first line immediately takes us into unbiblical territory. It is part of the myth that, in Old Testament times, all dead souls would be bound in a place of torment. Now the exact location of where Old Testament saints went is open to interpretation. There are some who think they would have gone to heaven, as they were saved by belief in a future Messiah….

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