Adapa and Enkidu and Adam and Eve

In response (on Quora) to the Questions:

  • If Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil, how could they have known eating the fruit was wrong?

  • Where was (the always present) God when they were being tempted?

  • Are we to believe that all the plans (a supreme) God had for mankind got foiled by some random talking snake?

  • How could an all knowing God not have foreseen the consequences of their creation?

A:  Well, to begin with, there is no such thing as god. If you’re unclear on that, just look up the March of Dimes’ latest statistics for fatal neonatal birth defects. There are many, many other facts demonstrating that, indeed, No One Is In Charge Up There, but the aforementioned example usually suffices.

NOGod

If you’re looking for logic in an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-singing, all-dancing god who can’t even get the Tree of Knowledge thing right (why not just leave off creating one in the first place?) … well, your time could be better spent. The Bible is incredibly, spectacularly, contradictory:

Click to Read: Large File
Bible Contradictions

Given that your question is based on the Bible-as-Literature, we have to look for the source of the Genesis Garden Myth (late 700 to 600 BC) . It turns out that, to the best of our current knowledge, it is a conflation of two Mesopotamian myths: Adapa and the South Wind Myth (1500 to 1400 BC), and The Epic of Gilgamesh (circa 2100 BC), with Adapa and Enkidu filling in for Adam and Eve. In the Adapa (read: Adam) tale, he is tricked into not eating the ‘food of life.’ A similar story occurs in Gilgamesh (several times).

Enki

So … what was this all about? Our ancestor’s consciousness, and fear, of the knowledge that they would die some day. It’s one of the things that make us unique amongst animals. We know from a very young age that we’re going to die. This was the first organized attempt to deal with that fact, and the Israelites (who were no strangers to Babylon / Mesopotamia), got Adam and Eve and the Tree and the Snake from them.

Ref: The American Journal of Semitic Languages (XV, 4)

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