The Genealogy of Adam and Eve

The central tendency and probably the major cause of error in modern religion is the determination to separate male and female and define them as superior or inferior in relation to each other. This is often called ‘difference’ rather than inferiority, but it usually results in disadvantages for women. Even today the Catholic Encyclopedia states that women are inferior to men. (See Catholic Encyclopedia,, Article, ‘Women’)

“The female sex is in some respects inferior to the male sex, both as regards body and soul.”

Christian fathers, such as Tertullion condemned women for the part Eve played in the Garden of Eden. But he must have known that the first chapter of Genesis is actually an independent creation story, while the second and third chapters were written by a different author and speak of traditions that are not Hebrew. The first chapter was written by ‘P’ or the priestly source. The second chapter was written by ‘J’, the J standing for Jehovah. The J source tends to be more politically minded, which can be seen in the segments attributed to him.

In the first chapter, Elohim created humans, male and female. But the second chapter actually tells of the birth of gods, or of the man-god.

In verse 23,

“Said the man, This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman for she was taken from Man.”

According to the Anchor Bible notes, Woman and Man are translated from ‘īš and ‘iššā. This assonance has no etymological basis in Hebrew. ((Speiser, E.A. “The Anchor Bible: Genesis”. Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1986))

The Hebrews were persecuted by Isis,so it isn’t likely they would claim descent from her. This only makes sense if they were telling the history of their world, which included various people of that region and time period. It seems they were not speaking of themselves as an isolated entity.

Some of the people in that region worshiped Adam as a god. Apparently the Greeks did because Luke, who wrote his gospel with the Greeks in mind, traced their lineage to Adam. This is in contrast to Matthew, who wrote for Palestinian Jews and traced their lineage to Abraham. As explained in The Community of Ancient Israel, genealogies establish identity as well as religious and political alliance. In our time they should serve to establish the identity of various people in the scriptures, but they are misunderstood and ignored.

The story of Adam and Eve was not an allegory for human males and females. Yet, Christian theologians have claimed for two thousand years that we are all the children of Eve. Today this error is at the heart of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

See also:

Adam, Noah and the Snake-king

Nomads and City Dwellers: Institutions, Worldview