Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Faith

Professor Proposes Interesting Theory on Creation of Eve

The Bible tells us the creation of Eve began with a rib taken from Adam. A professor says it wasn’t his rib.

The book of Genesis tells the story of creation: the creation of the universe, the heavens, our earth, and all living things.

God, the Bible tells us, created Adam first in His image, thereby creating the notion that it’s a man’s world. But God saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and created a companion.

Here’s the account from Genesis 2:21-23:

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

From a rib from Adam, Eve was formed.

But hold everything, says a professor of biblical literature and Northwest Semitic languages at American Jewish University in California, who recently presented his argument in an article in Biblical Archaeology Review based both on what he believes to be an erroneous translation for the Hebrew word for “rib” and also on the unique anatomy of the human male.

Said professor argues the human male is one of the few mammals that lacks a baculum.

What’s a baculum? I hope you’re sitting down.

The baculum is informally known as “the penis bone.” It is indeed absent in the human male, but it is present in other primates, including the gorilla and chimpanzee.

The professor argued argued that “tsela,” the word translated in Genesis as Adam’s “rib,” appeared 40 times in the Old Testament, but it was translated as “rib” only in the Adam and Eve context, while it was translated everywhere else as referring to an object protruding from the main body or something.

The professor offered “proof” of the hypothesis with the side note that human males and females have the same number of ribs, a fact that might be assumed to be false if man is believed to be one rib short (that rib having gone to form a woman).

A counter-argument makes an excellent point: that argument suggests that because the verse claims God removed one of Adam’s bones, that implies that there had to be multiples. If the human male had a penile bone that could have been removed, there would only have been one, while there are multiple rib bones and one of them could have been the “one” to which the verse referred.

It’s an interesting argument, to a point. But the more I read, the louder this question kept becoming in my head: Who cares?

What difference does it honestly make, one way or the other? Is Eve more or less valuable somehow depending on what part of Adam she was created from? Does it have any influence on how we are supposed to treat women?

Does it really change anything?

I was reminded of the black preacher I heard on television a while back who claimed he’d spent 20 or 30 years — I’m not sure exactly how long he said, but it was a long time — doing exhaustive research to prove “conclusively” that Jesus Christ was black. But if Christ were white, black, or Middle Eastern in appearance, what difference does it make? His death on a cross was for everyone, not just for one gender or one race.

Don’t get me wrong: There are valid reasons to question how the Scriptures are interpreted.

But those reasons involve a misinterpretation that leads people to falter in their own walk with God or to mistreat others they believe fall into a category of people that the verses may not have been referring to. They may also involve philosophical differences based on key passages that may be presented in a manner other than what was originally intended.

But debating something like this, when there’s no clear difference in how an alternate interpretation should be applied seems a giant waste of time to me.

There are far more important issues facing the church than this one, which would seem to change absolutely nothing no matter which bone God might have selected when He formed Eve.

3 Comments

  1. I think men all over the world could identify with the concept of “man gets together with woman; man loses penis bone.”

  2. Now, this is your belief system and that’s fine with me. It won’t work for me, but it works very well for you. And it is very obvious to me that you do – truly do – believe, but still find time to question things, to ask, to wonder, to cogitate on these things, and I admire that. I also find the idea of a baculum interesting – I had never, ever heard of this before…and yet, some creatures have mating practices far more bizarre than anything with a, uh, penile bone! So in this way, I find this illuminating. And I can see the humour in it.

  3. I’m sorry, but this is a lot of fuss when Creationism needs to move aside for Darwinism – well, evolution. I have to agree: who cares?
    I know, I don’t mean to impugn your worldview. But I never could understand this particular tale. Two people to begin the entire race? When to keep it genetically clean, you need a base population of 50,000? How is this in any way possible?
    Here’s an interesting story:
    When I was six or seven, I had a friend named Daria. She went to Sunday school, something my parents would never have done to me. (Keep in mind, my parents are an agnostic, and an atheist. Religion just did not enter the equation for us. It still doesn’t, although I do feel there is a higher… well, a higher something than just us. I call it the Universe, to me, that encompasses it.
    Anyway, Daria found it appalling that I was a non-believer, so age took me with her to Sunday school. I forget what the instructor spoke about, but I raised my hand with question after question after question. The answers? “You need to just believe.” “You need to have faith.” “It’s a mystery.”
    It is?!
    Talk about unsatisfying. I never wanted to go back, but that’s okay – the teacher told Daria’s mother she never wanted me back! Ha, ha, ha. I guess it worked out for all of us.
    I’m too much a scientist to let go of that and just ‘believe’.

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Patrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.