SO YOU BELIEVE IN A TALKING SNAKE?
Atheists tend to believe that logic is the most formidable weapon they have against scripture. This is not true. Their “logic”in fact comes from a deep-seated ridicule of scriptural accounts. They, from that stand-point, begin to attempt to portray those who believe in those accounts as stupid or ridiculous for doing so. One classic line is the question, “So you believe in a talking snake?”, an allusion to the account in Genesis 3.
Is there good reason for believing in a talking snake? Animals do not talk. A notorious fact of which we are all aware. It is admitted that holding a belief to the contrary is quite strange but does the world-view of scripture water down the strangeness of so believing?
First, the actions inspired by this talking snake (Adam and Eve’s disobedience) is the genesis (pun intended) of sin in scripture. Job alludes to this event,
“If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bossom” (Job 33:31)
Also. the prophet Hosea talking about the people of the tribe of Ephraim says,
“But they like men, have transgressed the covenant…” (Hosea 6:7)
The word “men” above, literally refers to Adam. The same Hebrew word for Adam is translated “Adam, man and mankind” in scripture. Further, in the Chronicles, the first name mentioned is Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1). Meaning there are at least two witnesses in the Old Testament pointing to Adam and his misdeeds courtesy of the talking snake, his mention in the Chronicles emphasizing his existence. This is not all..
Jesus Christ according to scriptures came to die for sin. Without Adam and the talking snake, at least on the basis of scripture, there would be no sin to die for. Jesus Christ Himself during His earthly ministry made reference to Abel (Matthew 23:35). Abel’s parents, according to scripture, were Adam and Eve. This would mean Jesus also believed in Adam and the talking snake. This is significant because Jesus Christ as portrayed in scriptures was far from stupid. He was full of so much wisdom that the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes could not catch Him in His words despite all the controversial questions they kept asking Him. This makes the fact that He believed in a talking snake even more weighty.
Paul, an intellectual of no mean stature, a man who studied under the reputable Gamaliel and excelled far above his contemporaries in the Jew’s religion (Acts 5:34, 22:3, Galatians 1:13–14) also believed in the talking snake. He writes,
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14)
He further intertwines the gospel inextricably with the account of Genesis 3.
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam…” (Romans 5)
“As in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 5:22)
Paul goes ahead to call Jesus Christ the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), the One who came to remedy the wrong of the first Adam. The first Adam’s wrong has every connection with the talking snake.
In summary, the talking snake is an integral element of the scriptural world-view. Apart from being corroborated by Old Testament writers, the sin that Jesus died for on the cross was as a result of it. Any attempt to fictionalize or metaphorize the snake equally fictionalizes or metaphorizes the sin that Christ died for. If a man is unashamed of the gospel, there is no shame in believing in the same talking snake that God, Jesus Christ and Paul all believe in.
Besides don’t these same people who try to ridicule Christians with such questions also believe that the entire universe with the sun, moon, stars and billions of galaxies just started from absolutely nothing? (Some have written entire books about it). Aren’t these the same people who cannot account for the origin of life or believe that all life on earth (whether plant, human or animal) started from one single life form? When you think about it, these are way more ridiculous beliefs than the talking snake.