Dr. C. John “Jack” Collins lectured on “Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why Should You Care” sponsored by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Collins is an Old Testament professor at Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis, Mo. As an author and editor, his works include serving as the Old Testament chairman for the English Standard Version of the Bible and Old Testament editor for the English Standard Version Study Bible.
At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Collins earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science and System Engineering. He received his M.Div. from Faith Lutheran Seminary and his Ph.D. in Hebrew linguistics from the University of Liverpool.
The Carver-Barnes Lectureship hosted three events featuring Collins through the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture.
On the evening of February 20, Collins lectured on the significance and role of Adam and Eve in the Bible at Wake Forest Baptist Church.
Genesis 1-11 was Collins’s basic argument for unity on the literary level and showed parallels to other important documents from the ancient Near East.
Collins posed ideas about various worldviews that shape “how we lean into life: where did I come from, why am I here [and] where am I going?” He concluded that these questions are answered from the big story of the Bible.
“Genesis aims to tell the story of beginnings, to lay the foundation for its worldview story,” Collins said. “One true God who alone made and rules the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.”
He spoke of the time when God created a dignified man in his own image to care for Eden. Man was sinless and called to spread these blessings in love and service to his Creator.
Collins warned the audience of being overly literalistic in the interpretation of Genesis and to focus of the overarching storyline the passages reveal. He encouraged understanding creation and redemption in light of what is wrong with the world and how God is restoring all things to himself.
He stated that the origin of the human race goes beyond a natural process and that Adam and Eve are the headwaters of the human race. At the beginning of the human race, the historical and moral fall that occurred is responsible for the feeling of loss all humans face.
Three affirmations of Collins’s position include that humankind is of one family, God acted specially in creation and man’s first ancestors brought sin into human life.
An open forum was held on February 21 followed by a Ph.D. luncheon. Collins spoke of Genesis from an inerrantist viewpoint and explored how different kinds of language from a continuum from ordinary to scientific can speak truth.
The most appropriate language depends on the purpose and occasion. He noted that the term “merely” is not an absolute, and one must be aware of how the term is utilized.
Collins asserts that the Scriptures principally teach the true story of the world and show God’s people how to embrace and tell others that story.
To view photos from these events, please click here.
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.