The Garden of Eden | John Ankerberg Show

The Garden of Eden

By: The John Ankerberg Show
Instagram
By: Dr. Norman Geisler; ©2002
Was the Garden of Eden a real place? Does the answer really matter? Dr. Geisler explains.

(From Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker, 1999)

Introduction

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed” relates Genesis 2:8. Since Adam and Eve are presented as real persons with real children from which the whole human race has come (Gen. 5:1; 1 Chron. 1:1; Luke 3:38; Rom. 5:12), it is also assumed that there was a literal Garden of Eden. Indeed, the Bible speaks of it as an actual place on earth that abounded with trees, plants, and animals. It had rivers and a gate (Genesis 2-3). However, critics point out that there is no archaeological evidence that such a place existed. They conclude that the story of Eden is just a myth.

Arguments for a Real Garden

However, strong evidence to support the literal reality of the Garden of Eden comes from various sources.

Since Scripture says that the Lord sealed off the garden in some way following the fall, this is one place where Christians would not expect to find archaeological ruins (Gen. 3:24). Nor is there any indication that Adam and Eve made pottery or built durable build­ings. Whatever might have remained of a Garden of Eden would have been destroyed by the flood which covered the earth (Genesis 6-9; 2 Peter 3:5-6).

The Bible does give evidence of the location, since two of the rivers mentioned still exist—the Tigris (Hiddekel) and the Euphrates (Gen. 2:14). Even if the rivers have a differ­ent flow since the flood, the placement of very names as rivers indicates that the writer believed this to be a literal place. The Bible even locates them in Assyria (vs. 14), which is modern Iraq.

For a discussion of the reality of Adam and Eve, see the Theological Dictionary entry for April 2001 entitled “Was Adam a Real, Historical Person?” There is abundant evidence that these were the first human beings and the literal progenitors of the human race. Literal people need a literal place to live. The Bible calls that place the garden God planted in Eden (Gen. 2:8).

The New Testament refers to events that took place in Eden as historical. It speaks of the creation of Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4; 1 Tim. 2:13) and of their fall into sin (1 Tim. 2:14; Rom. 5:12). But these literal historical events need a literal geographic place in which to occur.

The Scriptures affirm that God will one day restore human beings in a literal resurrection body to a literal restored paradise (Rom. 8:18-23; Revelation 21-22). But what is a literal paradise regained if there was not a literal paradise lost?

Conclusion

For those who place any credibility in the biblical record, the evidence for a literal Eden is very strong. This place intertwines with central teachings of Christian faith, such as a literal Creation, Fall, and restoration which give it even more importance. To deny a literal Eden is to deny a foundation stone for basic Bible teachings for which there is strong evidence.

The John Ankerberg Show

The John Ankerberg Show

Founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America.
The John Ankerberg Show
The John Ankerberg Show

Latest posts by The John Ankerberg Show (see all)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Please note we are not able to get to every comment due to the number we receive. To speak with someone directly please use the form here.

avatar

Subscribe & Get Offer

You have been added to our list!.

sorry something went wrong!.

Become a prayer warrior

Become A Prayer Warrior



Check Show Times In My Area

Get access to the show

Anywhere you go

The John Ankerberg Show is available on the App Store The John Ankerberg Show is available on Android
The John Ankerberg Show is available on iPad and iPhone

Stay Connected With Us