Friday, March 15, 2013

Eden - A New Perspective For Pagans

(This was originally posted as a part of the Pagan Blog Project 2013, Week E-1)

The Biblical story of Eden comes to us as a Judeo-Christian legend that recounts the creation of  all of  Earthly Life, and sets the tone for the relationship between Yahweh and humankind. [] It is within this creation myth that for the very first time, the Diety refers as its self as "Us" and "Our" in the first person. Note this is not the proper pronoun " I". It is not the royal 'we' of majesty; it was not the literary  style of antiquity for monarchs in the East to refer to themselves in the third person during the time of this writing.

Genesis 1:26  uses the plural reference, regardless of the translation of scripture used [], and it is very clearly intended to describe the existence of more than one individual. The Biblical Commentary Barnes' Notes states:" Only a plurality of persons can justify the phrase. Hence, we are forced to conclude that the plural pronoun indicates a plurality of persons or hypostases in the Divine Being". [ ] It very quietly indicates the subtle reality that there was an Immanent Divine that was both male and female at work in the creation of humankind.

Traditionally, the authoring of the Book of Genesis-the first Book of the Hebrew Torah and containing the Pentateuch- has been attributed to Moses. Modern scholars from diverse backgrounds now agree this is not the case due to the distinct variations in writing style. It is now believed (and being taught in mainstream schools of theology) that Genesis is a theoretical compilation of sources, specifically Jahwist, Elohist, Priestly, Deuteronomy and (sometimes) Redactor.  []

The Book of Ezekiel give a slightly different version of the story. In it, Eden is not the locus amoenus of the first man and woman, but a garden built for God to walk in with the King of Tyre. The Persian term paradise (Hebrew, parades) translates loosely into meaning a 'royal garden' or 'hunting park'. Over time it became a synonym for Eden. Dr. Francesca Starvakopoulou,[], a professor of Religion and Theology at the University of Exeter, holds this view point with a twist: What if the Garden of Eden was a real place? Her powerfully fascinating ( and convincing) theory was explored by the BBC in a documentary, " The Bible's Buried Secrets: The Garden of Eden".

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did.



  1. That was awesome. I'm a biblical scholar, but I mainly do sociology of the New Testament and its reception, so I don't spend a lot of time on things like Genesis. The one thing I'd have liked to have heard more of there is the Epic of Gilgamesh and other mythical precedents of Eden. Otherwise, fantastic stuff. Thanks for pointing it out!

    - Sophia

    1. There are more videos in this series on You Tube, but I haven't had time to check them out yet. I particularly like this one because it was a fresh take on things and by and away more plausible a theory than I've heard previously.

      Thanks for reading my blog!

  2. just stumbled across your blog it is wonderful, this post on the garden of Eden is really thought provoking. Off to check out your fb page now! If you would like to visit back mine is, blessings to you, Alison xx


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