Is the Bible wrong in teaching that death began with Adam and Eve? Is the Bible true?
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Our culture and the media use the term “Christian” with many different meanings and implications. Typically, they depict the Bible and those who follow it in a way which attempts to undermine its message. It’s important for us to identify these attacks on Biblical Christianity so we can have answers and offer the hope of the Truth. One example of the culture’s barrage of Christianity can be seen in a very short moment in the science fiction TV show, “The X-Files”. In the episode, “Babylon” the following dialogue takes place between Agent Mulder and Agent Scully:
Mulder: “”And I saw the seven angels that stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” Revelations 8:2, A herald of end times.”
Scully: “You know that prophecies like this have been going on for centuries. Failed prognostications of doom, failed prophecies even in the Bible.”
Mulder: Yeah, God told Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit he’d die. He lived 930 years, top that!”
Scully: “You know that didn’t literally happen, right?”
Mulder: “I’m just saying, it’s your book!”
In this interaction, both Mulder, the skeptic, and Scully, the “Christian,” are challenging the idea that God’s word is true and will absolutely come to pass. The verse Mulder uses to prove his point is Genesis 2:17 where we read about “death” for the first time in the Bible. God tells Adam that, “in the day that you eat from it [the tree of knowledge of good and evil] you shall surely die.” Mulder claims that Adam did not die after he ate the fruit, it is therefore implied that God was wrong and the Bible contains failed prophesies. (For more information on the accuracy in the Bible of man living for 900 years read here.) This claim the culture makes about the errors in the Bible can easily be challenged by going back to a study of the Bible
A study of the original Hebrew of this verse shows that the Bible does not teach that Adam was going to physically die as soon as he ate the fruit. The phrase is “dying you shall die” which is referring to an eventual physical death, along with immediate spiritual consequences. After eating the fruit, Adam died spiritually and was separated from God. This was very apparent to both Adam and Even who tried to hide from God after their actions. They also began to experience a physical “break-down” that did not exist before their disobedience. We all experience this, some faster than others, every time we look in the mirror and are living the “dying you shall die” process. Praise God that He didn’t leave us in this state but offered us spiritual healing and the hope of eternity, after our physical health fails, through trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second “jab” at Christianity is found in the statement by the loosely labeled “Christian”, Scully, saying “You know that didn’t literally happen, right?” (For more information on Christian labels here’s a good article.) Here, we see the all-too-common approach of disregarding the Bible because of it’s perceived contradiction with so-called science. This mentality does not hold up if you believe that the entirety of the Bible is true and without error (which it claims to be:watch our debunked: God didn’t Mean What He Said). Jesus Christ believed and taught Genesis as true history. He quoted from it over 20 times in the New Testament. Every time He quoted Genesis, He quoted it as a literal, historical account, not fairy tail or fable. By claiming the Bible does not mean what it says, we’re not in obedience to the one we claim to follow. Yes, “It is our book!,” and what we see in the world only makes sense in light of the history that we find in there.
As seen in this short clip from one episode of one show, our culture and media constantly attack the Christian faith and the Bible. We must follow God’s command to study His Word for answers and always give reasons for our beliefs with meekness and fear. The Lord can do amazing things through obedient children!
P.S. – For a very in-depth discussion on this important issue please check out Dr. Terry Mortenson’s excellent article, “Genesis 2:17 – “You Shall Surely Die”
Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.