Iconography: Adam and Eve


I have been researching and learning about different icons of religions for some time now and it is hard to go past such well-known icons of Adam and Eve. According to the mythology of creation in Christianity, Adam and Eve are considered to be the first man and women on Earth, created by God after he created the world and all of the plants and animals in it. They are considered to be the original ancestors of human beings today and provides the basis for the doctrines of the fall of man.


Introduced in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible it is stated that God made the first man and woman to look out for the world that God created. While not named, God creates Adam from the dust and homes him in the Garden of Eden, where he is told to eat freely of all of the trees in the garden except from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Lonely, Adam asks God to make him a wife and so Eve is created from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion. The story goes that a serpent, who is seen as the Devil, convinces Eve to eat from the fruit from the forbidden tree and she gives some to Adam who also partakes. These acts do indeed give them extra knowledge, but also cements negative emotions in them such as embarrassment, shame, and evil.


God - mad at Adam and Eve for disobeying him - banishes Adam and Eve from the garden, casting sin into the world (sins such as murder, lying, destruction, etc) and casts pregnancy problems onto Eve, stating that she will be in pain from her womb when giving birth. It is suggested that Eve being the first woman to sin, this is where the word 'evil' comes from.


In other texts, Eve is not actually the first woman and is in fact predated by Lilith, who refused to be subservient to Adam and was expelled from the garden before God created another more serving woman in Eve. In the bible, Adam and Eve continue their line with Cain and Abel, known as the first murderers - before they have others whom the brothers and sisters copulate with to create the world. It should be noted that finding in population genetics, the single first Adam and Eve pair of human beings didn't actually exist.


In pop culture nowadays, Adam and Eve are often refrenced in works of reniassance art, as well as more recent items such as WALL- E, The Handmaiden's Tale, Supernatural, True Blood, The Fifth Element, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

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