Many Christian scholars have suggested that Genesis 1–3 was never meant to convey historical truth. Instead, they say it is like one of Christ’s New Testament parables. God merely shared a made-up story to convey spiritual truths. Does the Bible give us any clear guidance to know for certain whether Genesis 1–3 is a parable?
After all, as Christians, we believe that there is only one particular way to understand the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, His perfect and personal communication to His people for all time (2 Timothy 3:16). Accordingly, we cannot carelessly read the Scripture any way we want. To rightly understand His Word pleases Him (2 Timothy 2:15), but to twist the Scriptures offends Him and can lead to destruction (2 Peter 3:16). God has placed a premium on grasping what He really said.
This raises the question: How can we be sure what Scripture asserts about a certain subject, or what we call a “truth claim”? We need a way to correctly identify what the Bible actually claims. For example, does Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son mean that an actual boy acted this way in time and space? It does not appear so. Instead, Luke 15:1–3 claims that Jesus, in time and space, spoke the parable; and the truth of the parable is that God loves sinners. We must be accurate with truth claims. After all, we do not want to put words in God’s mouth or take away from what He meant (see Deuteronomy 4:2).
How do truth claims impact Genesis 1–3? Some have argued that these chapters do not assert historical facts but rather resemble the parable of the prodigal son. They only represent certain theological truths without portraying a real event. If this is the case, then those who believe that Genesis portrays history are mistaken, and we need to change our position. We certainly do not want to say more than what our Lord intended to say.
[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]