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.
 


 

Explore the world’s most intriguing Biblical scholarship

Dig into more than 7,000 articles in the Biblical Archaeology Society’s vast archive with a Library Explorer pass.


library-explorer-pass-button
 


 

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:

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4 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ????????????

  3. 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.

  4. 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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4 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ????????????

  3. 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.

  4. 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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