Genesis 2:8—Was the Garden of Eden a real place or just a myth?

Problem: The Bible declares that God “planted a garden eastward in Eden” (Gen. 2:8), but there is no archaeological evidence that any such place existed. Is this just a myth?

Solution: First of all, we would not expect any archaeological evidence, since there is no indication that Adam and Eve made pottery or built durable buildings. Second, there is geographical evidence of Eden, since two of the rivers mentioned still exist today—the Tigris (Hiddekel) and the Euphrates (Gen. 2:14). Further, the Bible even locates them in “Assyria” (v. 14), which is present day Iraq. Finally, whatever evidence there may have been for the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2–3) was probably destroyed by God at the time of the Flood (Gen. 6–9).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.