Adam and Eve?


Some people say that Adam and Eve weren’t real. Then why is their story in the Bible? How do we know what is real?
Karen E., Orlean, PA

Literal Truth
Literal Interpretation
So, what is real?
  Literal Truth
Catholics believe that the Bible is inspired by God. But, we must not take everything in the Bible as literally true, particularly in the sense of historical and scientific accuracy.

The Catholic Church teaches that the Bible's authors—while inspired by God—were still human beings reflecting their own culture and limited knowledge of science and history. We're hearing the story of God's action in their lives through their eyes and in the voice of their experience.

Literal Interpretation
The Bible is to be taken literally in the sense that we must apply literal rules in interpreting the meaning of any passage. For example, if we are reading a mythic story, we cannot expect it to teach scientific fact.

Don’t get hung up on the details—the authors of the biblical books didn’t.

So, what is real?
The family of faith’s conviction that God cares about the world and its people, and that God somehow acts in our lives. The authors of the Bible were less concerned about telling exactly what happened than with seeing what an event meant, how it showed God at work in their lives.

Remember, the Bible contains stories of almost every imaginable human situation, from terrible suffering to great joy, from cruel betrayal to faithful love. No matter what our experiences are, we can usually find them echoed in the words of Scripture.

These stories remind us that no matter what is happening in our lives, God loves us and calls us to be part of a bigger plan. Seeing the plan and appreciating God's activity in human life are central reasons for reading the Bible.
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