The Claim: No educated theologian thinks Adam and Eve and Noah are historical figures.
The stories of Adam and Eve, and of Noah and his Ark, are not history, and no educated theologian thinks they are.
Dawkins, Richard. Outgrowing God (p. 56). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Throughout history up to the present day, theologians have agreed that Adam and Eve and Noah are historical individuals who did indeed exist. In order to show how inaccurate Dawkins’s claim is, I will chronologically select five famous theologians up to the modern-day.
Theologians in the Bible
Jesus himself spoke of Adam and Eve in Matthew 9:4. The author who wrote most of the New Testament is believed to be St. Paul. He spoke about Adam and Eve in the Romans 5:14, 1 Timothy 2:11-15, 1 Corinthians 15:22,45 and 2 Corinthians 11:3. St. Peter speaks about Noah in his first-century letter 1 Peter 3:18-21.
Augustine of Hippo
Arguably one of the most influential theologians of history is Augustine of Hippo, who lived from 354-430 A.D. In Book 12 of De Trinitate he asks the question, ‘why does scripture make no mention of anything besides male and female in the nature of man-made to God’s image?’ (12.8). He says that ‘what was made to the image of God is the human nature that is realized in each sex.’ (12.10). This affirms that he believed that Adam and Eve were historical figures.
In his classic City of God, Augustine mentions Noah in Chapter 26. He writes, “Moreover, inasmuch as God commanded Noah, a just man, and, as the truthful Scripture says, a man perfect in his generation…inasmuch as God commanded him, I say, to make an ark." This affirms his belief in Noah as a historial figure.
In his Summa Theologica, Thomas states his belief that God created all of mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve. He states, "The first formation of the human body could not be by the instrumentality of any created power, but was immediately from God” (I:91:2). He continues: “And God created Eve immediately, but not ex-nihilo, using Adam’s rib” (I:92:2-4).
William Lane Craig
One of the leading Christian philosophers of our day is William Lane Craig. He is currently conducting an in-depth research study into “The Historical Adam and Eve,” which aims to learn more about the two as historical figures. His work may be found here.
Astronomer Hugh Ross is considered a lead theologian in the scientific community today. He believes the flood to be historically accurate. He proposes this model of Noah and the Flood.
Dr. Ross also believes in a historical Adam and Eve. For more information his book with Fuz Rana would be a good place to start.
Hugh Ross is the founder of the ministry Reasons to Believe. On their FAQ page, they state:
Reasons to Believe does recognize the fossil record as a reasonably accurate history of life on Earth, including the existence of hominids before modern humans. But RTB scholars also firmly believe that God supernaturally and miraculously created Adam and Eve from the “dust of the earth” (not a pre-existing being), just as described in Genesis 1 and 2. Adam and Eve were the first humans, and from them came the entire human race.
Contrary to Dawkins’s claim, throughout history, it has been the general consensus of educated theologians that Adam, Eve and Noah existed and lived their lives as depicted in the Book of Genesis.