Adam and Eve Did Not Exist
March 7, 2009 83 Comments
Paul uses the story of Adam and Eve to form the basis for the Christian doctrine of Original sin. “Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” Paul of Tarsus wrote in his epistle to the Romans in about 58CE. However Chapter 3 of Genesis does not use the word ‘sin’ and Genesis 3:24 says they are expelled ” lest he put forth his hand and take also of the ‘Tree of Life’ and eat, and live forever.” (So Adam and Eve were not immortal at their original conception)
St Augustine of Hippo understood Paul to have said that Adam’s sin was hereditary. “Death passed upon all men because of Adam, in whom all sinned.” The concept of ‘Original sin’, that all men are born in a condition of sinfulness and must have redemption became a cornerstone of most Christian theological tradition. However Judaism, the Eastern Orthodox churches, Congregationalist churches, and the Mormons don’t share this belief.
Over the centuries Christian beliefs have come to say that the serpent that tempted Eve was Satan or that Satan was using the serpent as a mouthpiece…although there is no mention of this identification in the Hebrew Torah
Early church followers held that because Eve was the one who tempted Adam to eat the fruit she (Eve) and ALL women who followed her were the first sinners and especially responsible for the ‘Fall.’ Tertullian would tell his listeners in the second century CE that women were the devils gateway, and go on to explain that they were responsible for the death of Jesus.
We can see that the story of Adam and Eve is a pivotal point in Christianity. The exegesis of the early chapter is the basis for the theology of the New Testament. If Adam and Eve did not play out as Genesis says it did, then there is no need for Jesus to redeem our sins…indeed, we have no sins, as the original story mentions none. It is only Paul, writing some four thousand years later, who puts this whole fiction into action. It is Paul who comes up with the idea and later writers pick it up and run with it and expand upon it.
Now what happens if we remove Adam and Eve from the mix entirely? We have this book that was written by Hebrews, Jews, and later Christians over a period of perhaps 800 to a 1000 years. By the actions and words of one man (Paul) who lived a few years after Jesus practically the whole world of Christian thought and theology hangs.
In the Biblical sense Adam and Eve did not exist. The story of men and women living on this earth far transcends the petty story found in the Bible. Adam and Eve were not the beginning of the human race; they are nothing more than a footnote in a fictive mythological story written by some of our ancestors. The story of humans goes back many hundreds of thousands of years and is spread over the whole earth. We did not come from two progenitors 6000+- years ago. Our footprints, handprints, tools, habitats, art, and handiwork have been found all over the globe going back a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, and many more years.
We humans have a history that is told in archaeological artifacts and human bones and pottery and stunning artwork on cave walls. We find finely crafted spearheads in animals that have not walked the earth for over 10,000 years, we find Homo sapiens skeletons superimposed with Neanderthal bones in Israeli caves from 50,000 years ago, we find 10,000 year old graveyards in the middle of the Sahara desert…relics from a time when the Sahara was green and home to ancient animals and human societies.
We humans also have sciences now that can read the ancient stories entwined in our blood. The stories that are told there….are not the stories of the Bible. We did not spread out all over the earth from “East of Eden” 6000 years ago. By that time humans were everywhere; in China and Southeast Asia, in Australia and Borneo, in North and South America, all of Europe, and many of the smaller ocean islands.
There is archaeological evidence of “us” all over the place and in time periods going back hundreds of thousands of years. The evidence is overwhelming, there are no doubts anymore. Adam and Eve as a Biblical truth…is not the truth.
Christianity, as well as Judaism and Islam, and all the other religions are relics of a time when we humans were making up gods…when we thought we needed them…when we had no way of ascertaining what was real in our world and what was myth. Some of us still look and hope to find a higher being that they can lay their troubles on, someone who can make them happier and richer and healthier, while forgetting to look inside themselves and finding their own will.
Jesus was only needed to redeem our sins brought on by the downfall of Adam and Eve…our ‘original sin’ Most of Christianity relies on the story of Jesus as their basic reason for being. In fact if you follow all the lines of reasoning you will find that Adam and Eve is essential to the whole story of God. Take away Adam and Eve and it all falls apart.
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