The ESV Study Bible (in my opinion, the best study bible on the market) has a statement about Adam and Eve that I thought would be worth sharing in light of this series I’m doing on the subject. This comes from the essay written by Old Testament scholar T. Desmond Alexander, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary in Belfast. It not only affirms that Adam and Eve were “real people” but also explains the theological significance of believing this:
It is clear that Adam and Eve are presented as real people. Their role in the story, as the channel by which sin came into the world, implies that they are seen as the headwaters of the human race. The image of God distinguishes them from all the animals, and is a special bestowal of God (i.e., not a purely “natural” development). It is no wonder that all human beings share capacities for language, moral judgment, rationality, and appreciation for beauty, unlike and beyond the powers observed in the animals; any science that ignores this fact does not faithfully describe reality. The biblical worldview leads one to expect as well that all humans now share a need for God and a bent toward sin, as well as a possibility for faith in the true God.
T. Desmond Alexander, “Introduction to Genesis” in ESV Study Bible (Wheaton: Crossway), 44.