Adam and Eve - the first people
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Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve eating the apple.
The woman in the tree is the snake
(Notre Dame Cathedral, 1200s AD)

July 2016 - According to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, when God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, he placed them in a wonderful place called the Garden of Eden. But God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree that grew in the middle of the garden. A snake came and told Eve to eat the fruit, and she did eat it, and she gave some to Adam, and he ate it too. The Bible doesn't say what kind of fruit, but later on people usually said it was an apple. The fruit was magic, and after they ate it, they knew right from wrong, and they were ashamed of being naked and picked fig leaves to cover themselves with. Then God was angry that they had disobeyed him and made them leave the garden, and from then on they had to work for a living.

mosaic of a naked man and woman covering themselves with leaves
Adam and Eve mosaic (northern Syria, ca. 500 AD
Now in Cleveland)

(If this can be seen as a sort of memory of the beginning of farming, when people could no longer live by hunting and gathering but had to begin farming to feed themselves and their children, then it would be dated around 10,000 BC).

Learn by doing: draw your own picture of Adam and Eve
More stories: Cain and Abel

To buy an excellent Child's Bible, click on the picture (this is the one I learned from, and the one I give my own kids):

Bible stories

Or read about Adam and Eve in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Cain and Abel
More about the Jews
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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