Adam and Eve Were Real People Created by God
If you deny that the first man was created before the first woman, and if you deny that the first woman came from the man (not from an existing animal or human-like creature), you undermine the Catholic doctrine of marriage and ultimately the authority of the Old and New Testaments.
Ever since the time of Darwin, many church leaders and academics have attempted various ways to harmonize Genesis with “millions of years” and Darwin’s ideas of common descent. It has been claimed that Adam and Eve came from “human-like beings” who lived outside the Garden of Eden:
You could test this claim against several scriptural teachings. But just one—the biblical teaching of “one flesh”—is more than sufficient to show how this position undermines key Catholic doctrines, including marriage, the Church, and ultimately the authority of God’s Word in the Old and New Testaments.
Genesis 2 Is Written as a Literal Account of “One Flesh."
The first step in evaluating any claim is to look closely at what Scripture actually says. In Genesis 2, we read, “Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it. And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam. And Adam said: This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.’” (Genesis 2:21–23).
If one takes this as literal history, then God made Adam first (from dust or slime—Genesis 2:7), and then put the man to sleep, and from his side (a rib) made the first woman. Note Adam’s words that this woman was “flesh of my flesh.” They were one flesh.
In Genesis 2:24, God explains that marriage is to be a bond between a man and a woman and that they shall “become one flesh.” In marriage, a couple is to be spiritually one and physically one—based on the one flesh aspect of how woman was created.
The Doctrine of Marriage Is Based upon Literal “One Flesh”
Adam and Eve Were “One Flesh”
Jesus refers directly to the historical account of Genesis 2 when He was asked about God’s view of marriage. He replied, “'Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female?' And he said: 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.'” (Matthew 19:4–5). Jesus was quoting the literal account of Eve coming from Adam and being “one flesh” with the first man.
Saint Paul also quotes from Genesis 2 in his discussion about God’s view of marriage: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. ” (Ephesians 5:31). In fact, he makes a second reference to the same concept earlier in his epistle: “So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church:” (Ephesians 5:28–29). The “one flesh” aspect is used even in regard to instructing husbands to love their wives.
There is even a reference to “one flesh” in Malachi 2:15. Because the Israelite men were divorcing their wives and marrying pagans, the prophet reminds the people of the true meaning of marriage, as revealed in Genesis 2. “But did He not make them one [one flesh], having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one [why were two made from one]?” (Malachi 2:15).
So when a Theologian or a Professor proposes that God allowed an evolutionary process to generate soulless animals, then used two of those animals or supposedly human-like creatures from an existing pool to make them into Adam and Eve—this totally undermines the teaching of “one flesh” in the Old and New Testaments.
This undermines the doctrine of marriage. It also means Jesus and Paul did not tell the truth, which undermines biblical authority!
Adam Was Made “First”
Another plain teaching of Scripture concerning the relationship between Adam and Eve needs to be considered when evaluating this recent claim. Because Eve was made from Adam, then Adam was made first—and obviously the woman came from the man—just as Adam stated in Genesis 2:23. The New Testament refers to Adam being first:
“For Adam was first formed; then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13).
“For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8).
“For as the woman is of the man . . .” (1 Corinthians 11:12).
If you deny that the first man was created before the first woman, and if you deny that the first woman came from the man (not from an existing animal or human-like creature), you undermine the biblical doctrine of marriage and ultimately the authority of the Old and New Testaments.
The Doctrine of the Church Is Based upon Literal “One Flesh”
The “one flesh” teaching in Scripture, based on the historical “one flesh” of the first man and woman, is also the foundation of the doctrine of the church.
Saint Paul says of the Church, “‘Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh.' This is a great sacrament; but I speak of Christ and of the Church.” (Ephesians 5:30–32).
And earlier in the chapter Saint Paul says, “Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body.” (Ephesians 5:23).
Consider how significant this is to our faith. The Church’s doctrine is that the redeemed of the human race are one body with Christ, and He is the head! We are “one flesh” with Him. In fact, the Bible makes it obvious that the Church is the “bride” of Christ and Christ is likened to a “bridegroom” (Matthew 25:1).
The Church’s relationship with Christ is explained in terms of the doctrine of marriage, which is founded in Genesis’s literal “one flesh” history of woman’s creation from the man. To teach that Adam and Eve came from a preexisting group of animals or human-like creatures is to totally undermine the doctrine of the Church.
An Attack on “One Flesh” Is Ultimately an Attack on the Authority of God’s Word
Adam and Eve—from one flesh or two? The Bible makes it obvious from Genesis to Revelation—they were from one flesh! Any teaching to the contrary is unCatholic and an attack on the authority of God’s Word . . . and ultimately an attack on the “Lamb’s wife”, which is the Church.
“And there came one of the seven angels, who had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and spoke with me, saying: Come, and I will shew thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9).