Adam and Eve: Who are They?
Adam and Eve were the first humans, according to the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions, and all humans have descended from them. As stated in the Bible, Adam and Eve were created by God to take care of His creation, to populate the earth, and to have a relationship with Him. Their very names are indicative of their roles. Adam comes from the Hebrew adomah, meaning "man." Eve is from the Hebrew for "life." The complete biblical account of Adam and Eve can be found in Genesis 1:26 to Genesis 5:5.
Most of our preconceived ideas about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden come from John Milton's epic poem "Paradise Lost," published in 1667. He took the Genesis account and greatly expanded it using his creative flair. Milton used his imagination to create "behind the scenes" conversations with God, Satan, and various angels. His additions to the Genesis account have become imbedded in our culture and have caused many people to mistakenly think Milton's account is found in the Bible.
Adam and Eve: The Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve were the first gardeners. They lived in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place with no thorns or weeds, and where plants produced their fruit easily. We find in Genesis 2:15-20 that God told Adam to cultivate the garden, keep the garden, name the animals, and eat of the garden's fruit, except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Adam and Eve: The First Parents
Adam and Eve were the first parents. The Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions hold that all people are descendants from them. According to Jewish tradition, Adam and Eve had 56 children. This was possible, in part, because Adam lived to be 930 years old. Some scholars believe that the length of the life spans of the people of this time was due to a vapor canopy in the atmosphere. This may have made the earth's environment more hospitable to human life and increased life spans. These scholars believe this canopy was destroyed during the Flood and contributed to the great amount of water covering the earth.
Adam and Eve: The First People to Disobey God
Adam and Eve were the first people to do something wrong. As it is told in Genesis 2:16-17, God told Adam that he was free to eat from every tree in the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God said that he would die if he ate the fruit. We don't know what kind of fruit this tree had. Milton introduced the idea that it was an apple. Later, Eve was deceived by Satan speaking through a serpent and ate the fruit. She then took the fruit to Adam and he ate it knowing he was doing the wrong thing. Because they disobeyed what God had explicitly told them and chose to believe Satan, they began to experience spiritual death, and soon physical death. God expelled them from the garden. Adam and Eve sinned by placing their desires above what God had told them and through this act sin entered the world. No longer would it be easy to harvest fruit. Thorns and weeds would make planting and harvesting hard labor. Men would have to work to eat. Women would give birth in pain. Animals became dangerous and carnivorous.
Adam and Eve: The End of the Story?
Is this the end of the story about Adam and Eve? Did God expel Adam and Eve from the garden without providing a way for them to repair their relationship with Him? Or did God make a way for people's sin to be taken care of? How can what you believe about Adam and Eve affect your life today? If you believe that Adam and Eve were created by God and disobeyed Him, bringing sin into this world, does that make you a sinner? If so, how does that change your view of yourself? Of God? Of your relationship with God? These are vital questions to explore as they lead to the ultimate questions of life.