Adam and Eve

Peter C. Bouteneff

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation

Published in print May 2019 | ISBN: 9780198718390
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780191787782 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Adam and Eve

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Religious Studies
  • Christianity


Show Summary Details


Adam and Eve, who barely appear in the Bible after they are introduced in the book of Genesis, serve a short but important list of functions within early Christian writing. They represent Christ and Mary, respectively, among other typological readings of the Paradise narrative. They also stand for all of humanity, partly by virtue of their location at the top of the human genealogy, and partly because their acts in the garden are commonly universalized to represent the sins of each and all. The understanding of their sin as resulting in an original guilt passed on through the generations is by no means a common one in early Christian writing. The question of their historical existence is not foreign to some of the ancient authors—nor does it really preoccupy any of them—but it does not receive a straightforward or consistent answer.

Keywords: Adam; Eve; sin (original); historicity; Paradise; typology; allegory; Jesus Christ

Article.  4908 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.