Today, we will continue our trip through the Old Testament. Up next on our itinerary is the story of Adam and Eve. A familiar story to most but if you are a child, you are probably ignorant of this tall tale. Theologically, Adam and Eve play a pivotal role in the story of salvation. In most Christian circles, original sin is introduced through Adam and Eve. The story told in Genesis implies that all mankind is descendent from this pair. This is how we all inherit original sin. This is why we all fall short of the glory of God. We cannot help but be sinful, it is in our nature. Does this mean sin is a genetic predisposition? Can we locate the sin genetic marker and have it turned off so that we can no longer sin? If Jesus was sinless, does he have this genetic marker for sinlessness? Can we sequence his genome? I hear there is a tip of a spear that still has his blood on it or there is this white sheet that has blood stains from his burial, how come no one has tried to pull DNA off these things? I want my sin gene turned off.
Back to the story at hand. Adam and Eve are essential to salvation. If we do not inherit original sin, Jesus’s sacrifice is pointless but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to the indoctrination of child. We have to teach our kids that they are inherently evil and what better way than with a story.
God took some clay from the ground and made the shape of a man. Then He breathed gently into the shape. The man’s eye’s opened and he began to live. God called him Adam.
The Lord made a beautiful garden for him to live in. The garden, called Eden, was full of many wonderful things. Beautiful flowers grew everywhere. Birds sang in the trees, streams flowed through the valley and animals roamed across the fields.
God had made the man in His image to keep Him company and look after the world.
If you ask evangelicals, this creation account is just a different camera angel. It is telling the same story as Chapter One in Genesis, just from a different perspective. If you ask Biblical scholars, this is a completely different story. The style of writing is different, the narrative is different and the sequence of events is different.
I have already torn apart the creation account with science in Episode 9 so we can throw the first few lines out the window. There is some hint of science to this though. God is said to have shaped Adam out of the clay from the ground. Clay is just a collection of atoms. Atoms make up matter; we are made up of matter so using this logic we are made out of clay. I know, I know, that is a bit of a stretch but we have to cut God some slack, right? If we take this account at face value, Adam was created as an adult. Did he have a belly button? He was not born but made, so it is a valid question. Even though he was created as an adult, did he have the mind of an infant?
Next we have Adam placed in paradise, he is surrounded by beautiful scenery and entertained by wild animals. Wait a tick, did I read something wrong? Which came first? Adam or the animals? I’m not sure but there is only one way to solve this…to the internet!
OK, I have my virtual bible open in front of me. Let’s read Genesis 1:25-27:
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said; Let us make man in our image…. So God created man in his own image.
Based on that verse, Adam was created AFTER the other animals and what is this US? Is God alone or does he have a posse? Now let’s take a look at Genesis 2: 18-19, keep in mind that believers will tell you that Genesis chapter two is the same story from chapter one but just from a different perspective so let’s take them at their word because if this is true, in Chapter two, Adam should be created AFTER animals. Now on to the verse:
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Wh-wh-whaaaat? Did I read that wrong? I thought it said that God created Adam BEFORE animals. This can’t be right; this account contradicts that first one. God can’t create animals both before and after creating Adam. It’s almost like the two accounts are from different sources, telling a different story but if God is the inspiration behind the Bible and he created the universe, surely he’d make sure to get his creation account correct and this is just the first two chapters of His book. This is setting a dangers precedent, I hope He can fix some of these plot holes later on.
Let’s do a quick recap before moving on. God created the universe then he created a beautiful garden with all the world’s animals and then he created one very special animal, Adam. Adam is now chillin’ in Eden, kickin it with the deer, lions and walruses without a care in the world. God should just end the story right there but there’s more.
God brought all the animals to Adam one at a time to be given their names. “Elephant”, he would say, or “Tiger”, or “Porcupine”.
But God felt sorry for Adam. “None of these animals is really like him,” thought God, “he needs someone to share his life. Someone who cares for him and who he can care for.”
That night, God took a rib from Adam’s side and made a woman. When Adam awoke the following morning, he found a wife, Eve, lying asleep beside him. Adam was so happy. He took her hand and she woke up. She looked up at him and smiled.
God told the man and woman that it was their job to take care of their new home. God blessed them, saying, “All this is for you. Help yourself to anything you like. But never touch the tree in the middle of the Garden. That tree gives knowledge of good and evil. The day you eat its fruit, you will die.”
God did not mean that Adam and Eve would drop down dead the moment they ate the fruit from the tree. He meant that in time they would die without His Spirit dwelling in them.
This story just took a creepy turn. How did God know Adam was not happy with the animal selection? Was Adam partaking in some bestiality? Did God walk in on Adam having some alone time with a frisky sheep? God did the only thing any parent would do; He ripped a rib out of his chest and made the opposite of what Adam was. For being all knowing, one would think that God would have the knowledge to create Eve at the same time as Adam. God had to know that Adam would be lonely. Adam also names all the animals and how convenient they are named in English. I guess before the tower of Babel, everyone spoke English or that is what you would think if you were raised in the South.
So Adam finally gets his helpmate, someone who is literally from him. Genetically, how does this work? Is Eve genetically identical to Adam or are they like fraternal twins? Either way, it’s going to be awkward at Thanksgiving.
God commands them to have full reign over Eden except for one tree. The tree of Good and Evil. The FORBIDDEN TREE! We are not told how much time has passed since God created Adam but let’s just say a few years. By this point, Adam has the mind of a three year old and Eve of a one year old. I have two children and if I tell them not to touch something, what do they do? They touch it! Why? Because I made it more intriguing by making it off limits. That is how the mind of a child works. God just told a three and one year old not to touch a tree, what do you think they are going to do?
One day, Adam and Eve were gathering berries for dinner when she heard a silky voice behind her.
“Has God told you that you can eat the fruit from all the trees?” the voice asked softly. Eve turned around to see a snake talking to her.
“God has told us we can eat all the fruit except for what grows on The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” Eve told the serpent.
“Oh come now, that’s silly! I hardly think such a lovely fruit would do you any harm,” the serpent lied. “God knows that if you eat from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you’ll become just like God, and will be able to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong.”
The woman looked at the fruit and thought how tasty it looked. She thought how wonderful it would be to be as wise and powerful as God. She believed the serpent’s lie and ate the fruit and also gave some to Adam, who was with her, and he took a bite as well.
She felt a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. She fidgeted and wondered what was wrong with her. Suddenly she realized that she was feeling guilty — she had disobeyed God and knew she’d done something wrong.
As soon as they ate the fruit a change came over Adam and Eve. They became unhappy and fearful of God.
Great, just great. Eve goes and fucks it up for all of us. Everything was fine but she had to go and eat the God damn fruit from the forbidden tree. I can use God damn here because God said, if you eat this fruit, you will be damned. See, it’s not blasphemy.
Then they start to feel a change, I think it was puberty. It then says that they became unhappy and fearful of God. Maybe the fruit revealed God’s true character to them. Maybe they realized that God was a massive dick and was going to screw them over regardless. His track record is pretty solid when it comes to dickishness. With God being such as massive Richard, he’s going to be pissed that Adam and Eve disobeyed him. Maybe he’ll go easy on him and explain to them what good and evil is and how they can live with it. Maybe he’ll be understanding like a good father:
Adam and Eve heard God calling them. Without thinking, they dived into the bushes, but God knew where they were. When God asked them if they had eaten from The Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil that He had told them not to touch, they blamed each other for their sins.
God was sad that Adam and Eve had disobeyed them. He told them that they had to leave the Garden of Eden, “From now on you’ll have to scratch a living from the soil. You’ll need to make clothes and grow food. Nothing will come easily — not even childbirth. And one day, you will die.”
Or he’ll do that. He makes the woman’s life miserable and makes the man work hard and they will both die. Imagine saying that to one of your daughter if they disobey you…I hope your child birth is extremely painful and that you will struggle for the rest of your life and then die miserable! Not cool God, not cool at all.
There you have the story of Adam and Eve as taught to children. Seems pretty airtight in its scientific accuracy. We’ll see you next time on C-Webb’s Sunday….wait a second, my producer is telling my something….uh huh…ok…you say genetics tells a different story?…uh huh…and evolution too?…uh huh, right…no archeological evidence for a historical Adam and Eve?…REALLY?!?! No Shit? I’ll be damned.
Sorry about that, it appears that there are some problems with this story. I was told I should go into those briefly here.
The notion that we all originated from two people over 6000 years ago has long since been debunked by genetics, evolution and biology. Bottlenecks occur in many species. Droughts, famines, changes in climate and environment cause population to drop often times resulting in extinction or rapid evolution. Homo sapiens were not immune to this. Evidence shows that roughly 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, our species dropped down to about 10,000 – 15,000 individuals, not two like the Bible suggest.
You may be asking, what do the genes tell us? And I will say, hold on, I’m getting to it. Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA we inherit from our mothers, so we should be able to trace our genes to a specific time and place. This mitochondrial Eve has been dated back as far as 200,000 years ago. This doesn’t mean she was the only woman alive at the time but simply the most common ancestor of most modern humans. Other women could have left ancestors but may have died off or represent a smaller subset of the human population . There is also evidence to suggest a Y-Chromosomal Adam. Horrible naming convention but since the Adam and Eve story are so familiar, scientist have decided to use these names. The bulk of our genes trace back millions of years, these are just the most recent human genes. Y-Adam is said to have lived thousands of years apart from M-Eve, they were not contemporaries .
You may say that this proves the Bible story and on the surface, it does resemble it but looking past the horrible naming convention, these two sets of genes are such one small fraction of the 20,000 genes he inherit. Here is the death blow to the Bible story and anti-evolutionist. I pulled this directly from the website infidelguy.com, the link can be found in the show notes at atheistsocialworker.org:
Endogenous retroviruses are the nail-in-the-coffin for anti-evolutionists. This hasn’t been explained away. ERV’s are basically viral remnants in our genetic code. ERV’s are the result of an invader that attacked our ancestors long ago and wrote itself into our sex cell’s DNA, Sperm and Ovum. However, during Meiosis, exact copying isn’t made and the Virus eventually becomes inactive. But the evidence of their invasion is still there! These viral remnants are passed down from parent to offspring for generations… and we can see them! Well.. we see these same ERV’s in our ape cousins, in the exact same place in the genome. This is only possible via sexual reproduction. There are tons of other evidences but this one is hard enough for anti-evolutionists to refute. Apes and Humans share ERV’s. The best explanation is that Humans and Apes share a common ancestor– that a very long time ago, our primate ancestors contracted a number of viruses and passed down inactive versions to us. We are cousins with modern primates and all animals on this planet .
There you have it, the Adam and Eve story is just that, a story. But why Christians so hesitant to toss out this myth? On the website mountainretreatorg.net , William Powell lays out the importance of believing the Adam and Eve story:
If Adam and Eve were not the first human beings, the Bible cannot be trusted!
OK, I with him so far but what does Adam have to do with Jesus, he goes on:
To deny Adam is to deny Jesus Christ. The third chapter of Luke lists the genealogy of Jesus beginning in verse 23. It traces Jesus through history to show that His humanity came from Adam. This genealogy covers 16 verses and goes back to Adam as seen in verse 38: “And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the Son of Joseph … Noe … Lamech … Mathusala … Enoch … Jared … Maleleel … Cainan … Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God” (Lk. 3:23-38)
Do you see now why Adam and Eve are so important? It is the doctrine of Original sin. If Adam and Eve never sinned, there would be no need for Jesus’s sacrifice. If you deny Adam and Eve, you are denying Jesus and the very foundations of Christianity. No wonder Christians are so afraid of evolution and science, it is at odds with their theology.
That wraps up this edition of C-Webb’s Sunday School, join me next time when I take a look at the concept of original sin.