Adam, Eve, and the Devil: A New Beginning
Korpel, Marjo C. A. and Johannes de Moor
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2014 pp. 343. $95.00
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 65
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Description: In this book the authors develop an intriguing theory about the Canaanite origin of the biblical traditions concerning the origin of the cosmos and the creation of humankind. Adam, Eve, and the Devil tells a new story about human beginnings and at the same time proposes a fresh start for biblical research into primordial traditions.
A number of clay tablets from Ugarit, dating from the late thirteenth century BCE, throw new light, Korpel and de Moor argue, on the background of the first chapters of Genesis and the myth of Adam. In these tablets, El, the creator deity, and his wife Asherah lived in a vineyard or garden on the slopes of Mt Ararat, known in the Bible as the mountain where Noahís ark came to rest. The first sinner was not a human being, but an evil god called Horon who wanted to depose El. Horon was thrown down from the mountain of the gods, and in revenge he transformed the Tree of Life in the garden into a Tree of Death and enveloped the whole world in a poisonous fog. Adam was sent down to restore life on earth, but failed because Horon in the form of a huge serpent bit him. As a result Adam and his wife lost their immortality.
This myth found its way into the Bible, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigraphical literature, though it was often transformed or treated critically. Adam, Eve, and the Devil traces the reception of the myth in its many forms, and also presents the oldest pictures of Adam and Eve ever identified (one of them on the front cover of the book).
Subjects: Bible, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches
Review by Blake A. Jurgens
Citation: Blake A. Jurgens, review of Marjo C. A. Korpel and Johannes de Moor, Adam, Eve, and the Devil: A New Beginning, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).
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