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.

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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:

Discover all this and more—but only if you subscribe right now!

As fascinating as these articles are, the Biblical Archaeology Society’s extraordinary, 40+-year-old Library is about so much more. Indeed, this is just 1 of 45 Special Collections designed to allow deeper study into specific topics and includes just a fraction of the incredible insights to be found in the BAS Library using your All-Access pass.

The BAS Library includes online access to more than 7,000 articles by world-renowned experts and 22,000 gorgeous color photos from…

  • • 40+ years of Biblical Archaeology Review
  • • 20 years of Bible Review, critical interpretations of Biblical texts
  • • 8 years of Archaeology Odyssey, exploring the ancient roots of the Western world
  • • The fully-searchable New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, an authoritative work of the past century of archaeological study
  • • Video lectures from world-renowned experts
  • • Four books published by BAS and the Smithsonian Institution

Plus, you get access to so much more from your All-Access pass:

Biblical Archaeology Review print edition:

Enjoy the same current issues in glorious, traditional, full-color print …

  • • 6 print issues of Biblical Archaeology Review magazine

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  • • 6 bi-monthly issues of Biblical Archaeology Review magazine, all on your iPad, Android or Kindle Fire
  • • Instant access to the complete tablet edition back-issue catalog of BAR from the January/February 2011 issue forward

All of this rich and detailed scholarship is available to you—right now—by buying a special All-Access pass. And you’ll receive all of the above, for ONLY $0.99 a month. It doesn't get any better than that!


 

Special limited-time offer — just 99¢ a month! Get your BAS All-Access pass—just 99¢ a month for an entire year of access to our vast library of content on Bible history and archaeology, as well as convenient tablet access and six fascinating print issues delivered straight to your door. You won't beat that deal anywhere! It’s a limited-time offer you should take advantage of right now!


That’s right: Right now, you get a ticket to four decades of study, insight and discovery. Why not join us right now and start your own exploration?

Whether you’re researching a paper, preparing a sermon, deepening your understanding of Scripture or history, or simply marveling at the complexity of the Bible – the most important book in history—the BAS All-Access pass is an invaluable tool that cannot be matched anywhere else.

You’ll get to experience all the discoveries and debate in beautiful clarity with Biblical Archaeology Review, anytime, anywhere! And the Library is fully searchable by topic, author, title, keyword, and by Special Collection.

One last word: Please note that studying Biblical history and archaeology with our All-Access pass can lead to uncontrolled diversion from your original search, excessive browsing and the swift passage of surprising lengths of time.

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  • 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.

  • Evangelist 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 ????????????

  • Holly 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.

  • Fr. 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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