BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Adam and Eve

How has this timeless tale shaped society as we know it today?

In a modern world, there are many ways to understand social change. You may follow the news closely, or read books written by distinguished academics. In particular, you’ll see great debate about women’s roles in society dominating our national discourse.

But did you know that even the Bible is studied for a newer understanding of its traditional themes—themes that have shaped society for millennia?

hult-adam-eveIt’s true. And one of the most closely-studied stories is that of the first people to walk the Earth as God’s creations. The story of Adam, Eve, and the Fall forms the underpinning of almost all of our understanding of men and women, making it perhaps the most important theme from the Bible to study and reconsider.

The brand-new collection in the Biblical Archaeology Society Library, Adam and Eve, highlights intriguing insights on women’s role in the Bible and ancient thought—some of which might even be called feminist, right in the heart of patriarchal world religions.

It’s entirely possible that Adam actually “gave birth” to Eve via his os baculum (penis bone), not his rib.

In the Bible, the Fall is not sexual in nature—and Adam didn’t have to be seduced or convinced to eat the apple.

The ancient religious belief that women are evil is derived not from the Bible, but from extra-Biblical texts known as pseudepigrapha.

A feminist interpretation of the Creation story recasts woman as superior to man.

Certainly you’ll want to explore these ideas. For instance, it almost seems obvious that if humans have always been considered superior to all other animals because they were created last, then Eve, God’s final creation, is therefore the ultimate and most divine of all his works.

Similarly, while traditional interpretations of the reason for the Serpent choosing Eve for his scheme is because she is weaker and less intelligent, it’s equally logical to say Eve was chosen because she is more intelligent and better able to engage in theological discussion with the Serpent.


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Innocent or guilty?

These are just two of the points made in “Eve and Adam: Is a Feminist Reading Possible?” by Professor Pamela J. Milne. But why, exactly, is a feminist reading even necessary? Students of the Hebrew Bible know quite well that the Eve of that story is not a seductress. In fact, she neither deceives Adam nor coerces him into eating the fruit.

foster-bible-pictures

Photo: From Charles Foster, The Story of the Bible (1897).

Writes Susan L. Greiner in “Did Eve Fall or Was She Pushed?”:

“The word ‘sin’ is never applied to Eve; indeed, it does not even appear in the Creation account. Further, in the Bible, the Fall is not sexual in nature.”

It’s difficult to decide why the earliest theologians went to such extremes in rewriting Genesis. And while discussion of the topic is enticing, there are other, less gender-charged themes to uncover in the story of Adam and Eve.

For instance, have you ever stopped to consider how Adam and Eve made a living in the Garden of Eden? Frederic L. Pryor and Eleanor Ferris Beach have, and they take readers on a path through anthropological research and the economics of primitive societies to demonstrate that the description of Adam and Eve’s transition from gatherers—in Eden—to farmers/shepherds—after the expulsion from Paradise—closely resembles the evolution of early humans.


Become a Member of Biblical Archaeology Society Now and Get More Than Half Off the Regular Price of the All-Access Pass!

Explore the world’s most intriguing Biblical scholarship

Dig into more than 9,000 articles in the Biblical Archaeology Society’s vast library plus much more with an All-Access pass.

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Breaking new ground in Biblical studies

For scholars both professional and lay, there is almost nothing more exciting than challenging traditional thought. That’s why this newest Special Collection from the BAS Library is already one of our most popular among our members.
Here’s what’s included in Adam and Eve:

 

 

 

 


Become a Member of Biblical Archaeology Society Now and Get More Than Half Off the Regular Price of the All-Access Pass!

Explore the world’s most intriguing Biblical scholarship

Dig into more than 9,000 articles in the Biblical Archaeology Society’s vast library plus much more with an All-Access pass.

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Get more biblical Archaeology: Become a Member

The world of the Bible is knowable. We can learn about the society where the ancient Israelites, and later Jesus and the Apostles, lived through the modern discoveries that provide us clues.

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Each issue of Biblical Archaeology Review features lavishly illustrated and easy-to-understand articles such as:

• Fascinating finds from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament periods

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This was first published on BHD on June 4, 2019.

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6 Responses

  1. William says:

    Adam and Eve were not the first people to walk the earth. There was a 6th day creation of mankind in which God created all of the races and gave them something to do.

    Adam was created on the 8th day, AFTER God rested on the 7th day. The God took Adam’s rib, equivalent to the word “curve” i.e. the Helix Curve, i.e. Adam’s DNA to create Eve.

    The sin 8n the Garden was NOT for eating a piece of fruit picked off of a fruit tree. Adam and Eve covered the part of their bodies that they sinned with. They sinned with the Serpent aka the tree of knowledge of good and evil aka Satan.

  2. Δεσμώτης says:

    Well, it seems that the “modern” authors forget the ancient Jewish Midrash referring to the first humanoid creature that was hermaphrodite and separated after to form Adam and Lilith, a tale copied from the Babylonians and the Hindus. In the Hebrew-Christian myths, woman is described as subordinate and inferior being since she was created from man’s body and not from the dust like the man. More verses from the Bible support her inferiority and misogynism of the early “mythographers”. In the Jewish Midrash, god said that woman was a “mistake” and she was created only when Adam asked for a “helper”, hence, originally Adam was destined to live alone in Paradise. The Christians cherry-picked those Midrash, twisted them and created their new version of Genesis. For more information, I would recommend the authors of Biblical archaeology, to read the magnum opus of the Jewish Midrash, “The Legends of the Jews” by Louis Ginzberg, whence the Rabbi and Christian Fathers cherry-picked, falsified and compiled their holy books. It would be a good start to reveal the original sources of this fairy-tale named “Hebrew-Christianity-Islam”.

  3. YSL says:

    and Adam didn’t have to be seduced or convinced to eat the apple. Tell me where in Genesis, the story say Adam eat an apple.

  4. Evangelist Richard V. Sifuentes says:

    These knew the Ideas always come about because people are confused and don’t have Gods Holy Spirit to understand his Word John 8:31-32 , Acts 17:11 , Luke 24:45 I use to be an unbeliever and never graduated I’d went to college but when I gave my life to God for 12 years I studied the Bible day and night and read 20 to 30 chapters a day and God gave me a good understanding of him and his word because I have a relationship with God and I don’t try to figure God out or what he says his his word I just study and pray and now I am an ordained Evagenlist preaching the Gospel all over Texas where many people or rather preachers will not go because there’s no profit for them and that’s in all the Texas prisons in Texas amen and it’s what God called to do amen ????????????

  5. Holly Haynes says:

    Wow, if this is what you are encouraging, I think I am going to delete this app. These ideas run contrary with the rest of Scripture.

  6. Fr. Gene Koprowski, MA, LLM says:

    I am writing to respond to the above-cited article. Thought it is interesting to speculate about the anatomical source from which Eve was, for lack of a better word, biopsied from Adam, I don’t think it is at all accurate to say that she came from his os baculum, or penis bone. The human male does not have such a bone and never did. Some monkeys do have the bone. If spider monkeys were running around in the Garden of Eden — a midrash I have not yet heard — then the ancient world was more like the sci-fi thriller, Planet of the Apes, but without Mark Wallberg, et al. than the account in Genesis.

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6 Responses

  1. William says:

    Adam and Eve were not the first people to walk the earth. There was a 6th day creation of mankind in which God created all of the races and gave them something to do.

    Adam was created on the 8th day, AFTER God rested on the 7th day. The God took Adam’s rib, equivalent to the word “curve” i.e. the Helix Curve, i.e. Adam’s DNA to create Eve.

    The sin 8n the Garden was NOT for eating a piece of fruit picked off of a fruit tree. Adam and Eve covered the part of their bodies that they sinned with. They sinned with the Serpent aka the tree of knowledge of good and evil aka Satan.

  2. Δεσμώτης says:

    Well, it seems that the “modern” authors forget the ancient Jewish Midrash referring to the first humanoid creature that was hermaphrodite and separated after to form Adam and Lilith, a tale copied from the Babylonians and the Hindus. In the Hebrew-Christian myths, woman is described as subordinate and inferior being since she was created from man’s body and not from the dust like the man. More verses from the Bible support her inferiority and misogynism of the early “mythographers”. In the Jewish Midrash, god said that woman was a “mistake” and she was created only when Adam asked for a “helper”, hence, originally Adam was destined to live alone in Paradise. The Christians cherry-picked those Midrash, twisted them and created their new version of Genesis. For more information, I would recommend the authors of Biblical archaeology, to read the magnum opus of the Jewish Midrash, “The Legends of the Jews” by Louis Ginzberg, whence the Rabbi and Christian Fathers cherry-picked, falsified and compiled their holy books. It would be a good start to reveal the original sources of this fairy-tale named “Hebrew-Christianity-Islam”.

  3. YSL says:

    and Adam didn’t have to be seduced or convinced to eat the apple. Tell me where in Genesis, the story say Adam eat an apple.

  4. Evangelist Richard V. Sifuentes says:

    These knew the Ideas always come about because people are confused and don’t have Gods Holy Spirit to understand his Word John 8:31-32 , Acts 17:11 , Luke 24:45 I use to be an unbeliever and never graduated I’d went to college but when I gave my life to God for 12 years I studied the Bible day and night and read 20 to 30 chapters a day and God gave me a good understanding of him and his word because I have a relationship with God and I don’t try to figure God out or what he says his his word I just study and pray and now I am an ordained Evagenlist preaching the Gospel all over Texas where many people or rather preachers will not go because there’s no profit for them and that’s in all the Texas prisons in Texas amen and it’s what God called to do amen ????????????

  5. Holly Haynes says:

    Wow, if this is what you are encouraging, I think I am going to delete this app. These ideas run contrary with the rest of Scripture.

  6. Fr. Gene Koprowski, MA, LLM says:

    I am writing to respond to the above-cited article. Thought it is interesting to speculate about the anatomical source from which Eve was, for lack of a better word, biopsied from Adam, I don’t think it is at all accurate to say that she came from his os baculum, or penis bone. The human male does not have such a bone and never did. Some monkeys do have the bone. If spider monkeys were running around in the Garden of Eden — a midrash I have not yet heard — then the ancient world was more like the sci-fi thriller, Planet of the Apes, but without Mark Wallberg, et al. than the account in Genesis.

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