23 Comments

  1. When I read stuff like this, I always ask myself, “How come I never found this before?” I know it’s not hidden and if I were a professional scholar in Biblical studies, I’m sure I would be familiar with it. But I’m not and so I thank you for bringing it to our attention and for the great footnotes.

  2. Ben Pratt

    This is great, Bryce. Thank you!

    The thing that fascinates me the most here is the garment of light Adam and Eve had. I’ve seen other references to it, but in this account it’s noticeably gone when Adam meets Eve after she partook.

    It would be nice to find (or create!) artwork depicting such a difference between Adam and Eve.

  3. You’re welcome all. I thought it was fascinating, and wanted to share.

    You are right that the Armenian passage also talks a lot about the garment of light that Adam and Eve had. I was considering writing about that too. In one of the manuscripts God’s commandment not to eat of the tree included this:

    “When you eat of it, you (will) be stripped naked of the light and you (will) surely die.”

    Stone also notes, “The idea that Adam and Eve were clothed in light or glory is common both in the Armenian Adam books and elsewhere.” This is an interesting aspect to trace through the account, how they are “stripped naked” of this light or glory as they proceeded through the Fall. Nibley often spoke on this subject.

  4. Brandon

    Bryce, this is excellent. I wonder what the world thinks when they see the phrase arise suggesting our potential to become like him? This is very interesting…
    “(That is) not so! Because God himself was a man like you when he ate of it, and he became God of all”

  5. It’s a good question Kent. John Tvedtnes says that “Ancient texts have much to say about the appearance of God, but very little to suggest that he was once mortal.” But Tvedtnes does provide some interesting corroborating references in that regard in his 2004 FAIR presentation on the King Follett discourse.

  6. Brad N.

    Bryce, I have been checking your blog for the last month or so and have to tell you that it has been very interesting. Thanks for all the work you have put into this.

  7. Manuel

    Oh this brings back so many good memories! I studied many apocryphal accounts of the fall of Adam and Eve. It is amazing the things that can be found on those documents.

    I remember (I think in the Slavonic version) that Adam and Eve, after being cast out of the Garden of Eden, go into a state of penitence and fasting. They knew Satan would try to distract them from their fast and agree to communicate with each other through “tokens” so that they would know their communication is genuine and not from Satan.

    I think Adam says to Eve that he will come and find her, but to not believe what he says unless he presents to her the “token.” I will have to go back and find this and post it here!

  8. xxxvi 1 And Adam said to me: ‘Haste thee to the river, named Tigris, and take a great stone and place it under thy feet, and enter into the stream and clothe thyself with water, as with a cloak, up to the neck, and pray to God in thy heart and let no word proceed out of thy mouth.’ And
    2 I said: ‘O (my) lord, with my whole heart will I call upon God.’ And Adam said to me:
    3 ‘Take great care of thyself. Except thou seest me and all my tokens, depart not out of the water, nor trust in the words, which are said to thee, lest thou fall again into the snare.’ And
    4 Adam came to Jordan and he entered into the water and he plunged himself altogether into the flood, even (to) the hairs of his head, while he made supplication to God and sent (up) prayers to Him.

  9. Sorry, I had some technical difficulties there. The text I just posted was from the Slavonic “Life of Adam and Eve.” You can see it at: http://www.ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/slanev.htm
    In this translation it says “tokens” but in other translations it says “features.” It would be good to talk to someone who knows Slavonic to see what the original word is.

    Bryce, this was a great post! I’m glad you put that “God was once a man” line in there. I am wanting to use that in a paper for school, but it is so hard to find any background for where such a notion came from. I will check out J. Tvedtnes’ paper that you linked to. Thanks!

    David

  10. David

    It’s not a baptism, per se. Adam is seeking out acts of penance to repent for his sin, for at this point no such way has yet been revealed. He gets an idea, and runs with it, and has Eve perform the same. It’s a form of self-torture.

  11. Lee

    There is more about Adam and Eve losing their brightness and their eyes no longer seeing as they could before in The Forgotten Books of Eden: First [and Second] Book of Adam and Eve.

  12. Melissa

    I just read an Adam book called The Cave of Treasures. It said that God clothed Adam and Eve with “skins” made from the inner bark of trees (?? ) I always thought it was animal skins. The translator reasons that there were no animals to kill because in Eden there were just one set of each kind–one male, one female–and no reproductions yet. Does anyone know of a clarification of these ideas?

  13. Melissa,
    The Cave of Treasures is great! However, I certainly wouldn’t take it as “scripture” or as an authoritative account of the Adam and Eve story. Sometimes when we read these texts we need to take into account when they were written, by whom, and also realize that they only represent a certain strand of tradition or combination of traditions. The Cave of Treasures is attributed to Ephrem of Syria, who, although he was a brilliant theologian and writer, lived in the 4th century AD and was exposed to all kinds of different traditions, both Jewish and Christian, regarding Adam and Eve.
    Genesis says that they were given coats of “skins”. It doesn’t specify, at least in English, what kind of skins. Did God have to go kill some animals to give Adam and Eve these “skins”? That’s a good question. I think the translator is giving a great insight when he says that there was no reproduction yet. Of course, we just can’t know if it was animal skins or tree bark or something else. What Ephrem is telling us in the Book of Treasures was likely his best interpretation of what happened or a tradition passed on to him, perhaps by some old animal activist Christians (J/K).
    However, most modern interpreters do understand these “skins” to be animals skins, and interpret this giving of skins as a result of the institution of animal sacrifice by God as a symbol to Adam and Eve of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
    The Hebrew word used in Gen 3:21 (‘or) does usually refer to an animal skin, hide, or leather. In the Greek (which is what most Christians would have read, initially), the word (dermatinos) also refers to animals skin or leather. So your understanding of them being animal skins is probably the safest bet. I’m not sure where Ephrem got that tradition, and it would be interesting to know, but it seems to be outside a normative interpretation.
    One more note–it is interesting in the dictionaries where I looked up the Greek and Hebrew translations, both indicate that this “garment” was supposed to be a long undergarment worn next to the skin and that priests wore this garment. Of course that is probably no surprise for readers of this blog.

  14. Melissa

    Thanks, David Larsen. I just found this Temple Study site over the weekend and I love it! I have been a Nibley “scholar” for the past 7 years and it is very difficult to find local members to talk to who have an interest in the deeper research of the Gospel.

  15. Michael Fornelli

    Are you saying they were clothed until they ate the forbidden fruit? If that’s the case remember they were naked and not ashamed. It is interesting these texts but not scripture, yet anyway. What’s important is to do what we know and have now from the Church which is Christ’s.

  16. Insofar as to Adam and Eve’s garment of light, before the fall, I took a look at Hugh Nibley’s Temple and Cosmos,
    I suggest pages 124 to 132. Also I have a book called “The Other Bible”, by Harper and Row, 1984,reference p.34.
    I call it a Genesis Haggadah, it talks about the same garment of light Adam and Eve had before the Fall, also that
    their skin was not as we have now,but was more like a shell, with the garment of light over it. Suggesting to me that
    once they lost the garment of light by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge,they lost the protection of their
    garment of light. They apparently got that at the time before they were placed in the Garden of Eden.

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