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in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, the original human couple, parents

of the -human race. In the Bible, there are two accounts of their creation. Acc
ording to the Priestly -history of the fifth or sixth century BC (Genesis 1:1-2:
4), God on the sixth day of Creation created all the living creatures and, "in h
is own image", both "male and female". God then blessed the couple, told them to
be "fruitful and multiply", and gave them dominion over all other living things
. According to the lengthier Yahwist narrative of the tenth century BC (Genesis
2:5-7, 2:15-4:1, 4:25), God, or Yahweh, created Adam at a time when the earth wa
s still void, forming him from the earth's dust and breathing "into his nostrils
the breath of life". God then gave Adam the primeval Garden of Eden to tend but
, on penalty of death, commanded him not to eat the fruit of the "tree of knowle
dge of good and evil". Subsequently, so that Adam would not be alone, God create
d other animals but, finding these insufficient, put Adam to sleep, took from hi
m a rib, and created a new companion, Eve. The two were persons of innocence unt
il Eve yielded to the temptations of the evil serpent and Adam joined her in eat
ing the forbidden fruit, whereupon they both became aware of their nakedness and
wore fig leaves as garments. Immediately, God recognized their transgression an
d proclaimed their punishments - for the woman, pain in childbirth and subordina
tion to man; for the man, relegation to an accursed ground with which he must to
il and sweat for his subsistence.

Their first children were Cain and Abel. Abel, the keeper of sheep, was highly r
egarded by God and was killed by Cain out of envy. Another son, Seth, was born t
o replace Abel, and the two human stems, the Cainites and the Sethites, descende
d from them. Adam and Eve had "other sons and daughters", and Adam died at the a
ge of 930.

In the Christian New Testament, Adam is a figure of some theological importance


in the Pauline writings. Paul sees Adam as a forerunner to Christ. As Adam initi
ated the life of man upon earth, so Christ initiates the new life of man. Becaus
e of the sin of Adam, death came upon all men; because of the righteousness of C
hrist, life is given to all men.

In later Christian theology, the concept of original sin took hold - a sin in wh
ich humankind has been held captive since the fall of Adam and Eve. The doctrine
was based on Pauline Scripture but has not been accepted by a number of Christi
an sects and interpreters, especially among Christians who consider the story of
Adam and Eve less a fact and more a metaphor of the relation of God and man.