Adam and Eve in the Garden, by A. Durer




(Gochberg, chapter 25)

  • (a) What are the differences between the god of ‘creation’ (in Gen. 1) and the god of the ‘fall’ (Gen. 2- 4)?
    What are some of the contradictions between the two stories? [e.g. Which is first in the order of creation, humans or plants? man or the serpent?]

  • (b) Is the Serpent the `Devil'?
    What actual evidence is there in the story itself for believing that he is?
    Does the Serpent ever actually advise the Woman to DO anything?
    Does the Serpent ever SAY anything which is not true?

  • (c) What is the significance of the two trees, that of
    (a) the `knowledge of Good and Evil'?
    (b) `Life'?
    Did the Man acquire knowledge of good and evil from eating of Tree A?
    Would he get `Life' from eating of Tree B?
    Why does God NOT want humans to eat of these trees?

  • (d) What punishments (curses) does God hand out to:
  • (a) the Serpent? (Is the punishment so bad?)
  • (b) the woman? (Is it a punishment without sweetness?)
  • (c) the Man? (Is God totally against the man and the woman after he has assigned the `curses'?)

  • (e) What is the point of the second creation story? Is it:
  • -that disobedience is subject to punishment?
  • -that desiring to be `like one of us' is properly NOT for human beings (and therefore presumptuous)?
  • -that society became patriarchal because of the 'mistake' of the woman (Cherchez la femme.)?
  • (f) For what purpose(s) did God create --- the Universe? --- humanity?

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May 24, 2009 6:14 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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