I just read James Anderson’s 12 prima facie reasons why Adam was a real historical individual. His concluding paragraph said:
Taken together, these twelve points add up to a strong prima facie case for the traditional Christian view that Adam was a real historical individual. Any scholar who holds to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, but denies this point, surely has a lot of explaining to do. If all we had to deal with were the first few chapters of Genesis, appeals to genre and other literary considerations might provide sufficient wiggle room. But the twelve observations above indicate that the historicity of Adam is a thread woven all the way through the Bible’s history, theology, and ethics. Pull out that thread and sooner or later the whole garment will unravel.
Immediately after reading this I saw that Justin Taylor had cited it approvingly, but I’m not convinced. If the mention of Adam throughout the Bible is there to make a theological point then his real existence is quite beside the point. The prima facie case to be made is not that Adam was a real historical individual, but that some of the writers of the Bible believed that he was. The fact of the matter is that the Bible’s writers probably did believe that Adam was a historical individual, but that doesn’t of necessity make them correct. They believed all manner of things that we don’t presently.