Adam and Eve are the most well-known characters of the Bible. Till today, their story continues to provoke the debates.
The creationists use this story to prove the veracity of the history of creation of humanity. The traditionalists confirm the hierarchy between woman and man with the masculine supremacy.
The liberals see this story as a myth about the oppression of the human liberty.
For feminists, this history is an invention of patriarchal society that was used to oppress the women.
In this article, I will try to explain what this story is about from the theological perspective.
First of all, it’s important to underline that it’s not a historical event. We can considerate this story as a myth of creation. The primary objective of the myth is to give us a moral lesson.
The story of creation of humankind in the Bible raises a lot of questions.
Why there a are two stories of creation of the humankind?
In the first version, the man and the woman were created in the same time (Genesis 1:27). In the second version, the woman was created from the man (Genesis 2:7; Gn2:22.
The explanation of this contradiction is rather simple. The first and the second versions don’t have the same author. They were not even written in the same time.
The first version of the story of creation of humankind presents man and woman as the equal persons. Even if this story is not the historical one, it doesn’t provoke any repulsion.
The second version seems to be an unfair story with the creation of the woman in the second place. She is presented as a subordinate to the man from the beginning of the creation. Anyway, for centuries the Christianity interpreted this story this way to justify the natural subordination of woman to man.
Today, the exegesis (theology) proposes the new interpretation of this story.
Originally the Genesis was written in Hebrew. So, the Bible researchers study the Hebrew version of the Bible.
They explain that the translation of this Bible story has many inexactitudes.
We read in the English version:
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.(Genesis 2:7)
It seems that God creates a man (a male) but in the Hebrew version we read that God creates a human being. Because “Adam” means the human being. Any gender distinction is not present in the original version.
The first conclusion of the researches was that God creates the human being and not a man (a male).
A little later after the time of solitude of the human being, the God decided to offer him a soulmate.
Let’s see what the English version tells us about this moment:
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man”.(Genesis 2:21-22)
The most interesting word here is the “rib”. Even the atheists know this story about the creation of woman from Adam’s rib.
But in the Hebrew version, there is no world “rib” but the world “side”. In the Hebrew version the woman was taken from Adam’s side.
This version of the story looks like the other myths about the creation from this region. Their stories present the creation of woman and man from the cutting in two parts the hermaphrodite.
God made the chirurgical operation by creating the woman from the side of Adam. With creation of woman, Adam became the man.
After the God’s creation we read the exclamation of joy from the man:
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man”.(Genesis 2:23)
For the long time, this passage was read in the positive way with the idea that the man recognizes the woman as his partner.
Some researches saw the exclamation of the man as the attempt to dominate woman. The man doesn’t propose to the woman to enter into the dialogue with him. He proclaims the creation of the woman as his own creation. He doesn’t thank God, he doesn’t ask anything to the woman.
He wants just to confirm his superiority and to be the first created.
After this, we don’t see any interaction between the man and the woman till the day of the fall.
The first time the woman speaks not to the man but to the serpent (Genesis 3:2-3). Even if the serpent is presented as the dangerous creature, he speaks to Eve. In contrary to the man, the serpent dialogues with the woman (Genesis 3:1-5).
The woman ate from the tree and propose to the man to eat. He doesn’t resist to her proposition.
For centuries, all the women were blamed by the Christianity to not resist to the evil. In reality, the woman as the man accept the snake’s proposition.
After that, we can read the curious moment:
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons”.(Genesis 3:7)
Before the Fall the man and the woman don’t see that they are naked? The scholars think that the nakedness is an allegory.
The man and the woman became gods. The serpent doesn’t lie to them. But they became the evil gods, the gods of the perversion. The confidence doesn’t exist anymore between them. The one wanted to dominate on vulnerability of the another. The nudity is the real fragility that can be used as the arm against each other. It’s not surprising that even today we show our nudity, our vulnerability to the people that we trust.
They lost confidence not only between them but also the trust to God. For this reason, they decided to hide from God.
God gives them the chance to repentance. But nobody wanted to assume his responsibility. The man puts responsibility on woman. The woman puts responsibility on the serpent.
God was disappointed with immaturity of his children. The punishment of the woman and the man was pronounced.
And only after the fall, the woman is received the name Eve from the man. And the man became Adam.
This myth teaches us about the relationship between the man and the woman, the importance of the confidence and the assuming of responsibility.