Do you think Adam and Eve are real people?
Did Adam and Eve exist? Or were they part of a larger Creation myth, whose traces are found even in Sumerian and Babylonian literature? Faithful readers of the Genesis account will insist Adam and Eve were real people. I, myself, am not so sure. They may have been characters placed in a moral tale. Or perhaps they were the first Hebrew people. As a sidenote to those of you who love history and would like to delve into this further, search out the Creation story in Sumerian and Babylonian literature. They even have a Flood story, which is remarkably similar to the Genesis account. Stephen Bertman’s Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia has a nice summary of both.
Do you really believe that Adam and Eve were created the way you’ve portrayed it?
I have stuck to the Genesis accounting, in which Adam and Eve were made by God in a sudden and abrupt way. For the evolutionists—theistic or not—this will be disappointing because they want to know, Couldn’t God have chosen to breathe spirit or breath into an ape-like creature, at a certain point in time? Yes, He could have. I have no problem with that. I do not want to limit God, for I believe He is capable of anything, so that was not my intention. I simply chose to stay close to the poetic Genesis story.
Was Eve really created after Adam? Couldn’t they have been created at the same time?
Are you really asking: is Adam superior and Eve inferior, or are they equal? There are two very different accounts in Genesis, one in which Adam and Eve are referred to as a unit—some scholars say an androgynous being—and the other in which Eve is created from Adam’s side. Why? I don’t know. I am grateful to Phyllis Trible’s article, “Eve and Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread.” In it, she obliterates any need for us to think of men and women as being either above or under the other. And again, in her engaging God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (p. 128), she encourages us to view Eve’s “curse” as a consequence, not as a punishment: “Hence, the woman is corrupted in becoming a slave, and the man is corrupted in becoming a master. His supremacy is neither a divine right nor a male prerogative. Her subordination is neither a divine decree nor the female destiny. Both their positions result from shared disobedience. God describes this consequence but does not prescribe it as punishment.”
Believe it or not, there is a plethora of opinion just on the word rib. There seems to be some difficulty in the translation of that pesky Hebrew word. No one knows exactly what it is.