Longman, Exodus and Adam

Recently Tremper Longman created quite a stir when he argued, in the video below, that it was unnecessary to hold to a literal Adam in the Genesis account.

I am among those who found this very disturbing given the place of Adam in Paul’s thinking (esp. Romans 5).

I was intrigued then to see what Longman wrote in his fairly recent book, How to Read Exodus (IVP, 2009).  He mentions this concern:

“Recently, I’ve noticed a trend that concerns me: fellow evangelical scholars who have questioned or doubted the historical truth of the exodus event.  Granted, few have put their thoughts in print and most of my knowledge comes from personal communication and discussion, but the trend to discount the history of the exodus is present in the mind of more than a handful of such scholars.  I imagine too that thoughtful seminarians, college students and pastors have wondered about the significance of the historicity of the exodus.” (84)

He goes on to argue for the importance of holding to the historicity of the exodus event based on its later use in the Scripture and its importance in the story line of the Bible.  I applaud his argument concerning the exodus.  I am, though, confused as to why he argues this way for the exodus but does not accept arguments along the exact same line for the historicity of Adam.  If anything, the historicity of Adam is more crucial than the historicity of Exodus.

Interesting days in the world of evangelical Old Testament scholarship.

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