Still the most asked question …
September 11, 2000
After more than 20 years in ministry, I still have to say that the “mystery” of Cain’s wife is still the most-asked question I receive. In fact, I have to admit that it seems I talk more about Cain’s wife than my own wife!
In July, I was speaking at a homeschool conference in Anaheim, California. One of my presentations was to teenagers. I sat down on the front row beside one of the supervising adults who was waiting for my time to speak.
This person turned to me and said, “I’m really looking forward to your talk. You know, there’s one question that’s always bothered me.” I thought to myself, “Surely not—will it be THE question?” He continued, “Can you tell me where Cain’s wife came from?”
Then there was the time when I was driving through Ohio and stopped at a gas station to fill up. One of the attendants came out and said, “You spoke in my church—on creation. I’ve been trying to witness to the other staff, but there’s one question that keeps coming up that I can’t answer.”
I stopped him before he could pose his question and said, “Let me tell you who she was!” Sure enough, the question was … who was Cain’s wife?!!!
In the movie Inherit the Wind, a fictitious account of the Scopes trial (see documentation of its distortions), one of the rare truthful scenes depicted the William Jennings Bryan character (who represented Christianity) as not being able to come up with the answer.
Sadly, I believe the trial and the movies that followed helped popularize this question to a skeptical world as the question to stump Christians.
It’s not a difficult question at all. When a chef at a London, England restaurant found out we were doing a creation seminar, he came to our table and said: “You believe the Bible—I don’t believe the Bible.” “Why not?” I asked. “Well, it says God made Adam and Eve, and they had Cain and Abel. Where’d all the people come from then?”
I said, “In Genesis 5:4 it states that Adam had sons and daughters.” “Oh,” he replied sheepishly, “I didn’t read that far!”
Once you understand that the laws against close relatives marrying didn’t come about until the time of Moses (Leviticus 18)—and that you don’t marry a close relation today because of accumulated mutations on our genes—the answer really is quite simple. [A fuller answer is on our website, and more detailed answers are found in several publications (Answers to the 4 Big Questions, and the The Creation Answers Book.)]
The fact that I’m still asked this question (and many others) tells me that the church isn’t giving the answers to the questions a skeptical world is asking.
Because of the great need to educate God’s people on these basic issues, Answers in Genesis has taken some exciting steps in recent times.
We have added staff to our seminar department so we can run more seminars to present faith-building answers for thousands of Christians.
Dr. David Menton (a very gifted lecturer, formerly with Washington University in St. Louis) has joined our seminar staff!
In cooperation with our sister ministry in Australia, we have produced an attractive 56-page publication that will be distributed free to many thousands at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia this month.
And yes, of course, “Where did Cain get his wife?” is one of these questions answered (along with three other most-asked questions, including the origin of “races”). We are also making this publication available to you. It can be effectively used as a conversation starter. And the Gospel is clearly presented. Read it, and then please share it with a friend. As we step out in faith to do the above, we rely on our God to burden the hearts of people like you to help us proclaim the Gospel and equip Christians. Please also pray that this new free publication will be mightily used by God during the Olympics.