Looking at Mark S. Smith’s Book (2019) “The Genesis of Good and Evil” (Part 5 of 16)

0027 The stories of Adam and Eve stand at the start of the Old Testament, why are they not mentioned later in the Old Testament?

They are fairy tales told by the wives of the men who proclaim the stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses and David, to name a few.  The men know what the women are telling their children.  The same stories are told over and over.  They are not important.  They are women’s stories.

The fall of Judah changes all that.  It is similar to the collapse at the end of the Bronze Age.  The bards of Israel, like the bards of Greece, are full of tradition, but not exactly reputable.  They pick up stories from all around Israel, including the ones told by women to their children for as long as anyone can remember.  The redactors quietly rewards their genius by placing the stories of Adam and Eve right after their own, incredibly ancient and beautiful, Creation Story.  Writing styles serve as evidence.

The redactor puts the fairy tale stories into a document that does not mention them again.  The written scriptures, composed during and after the exile, are correspondingly new, even though the stories are old.  The stories of Genesis 3 enter strange territory, a new audience, so to speak, which is not as innocent as the first audience, the children of the daughters of Israel.

0028 Mark Smith notes that the Deuterocanonical Wisdom of Solomon 2:24 mentions the Fall.

Yes, the early stories of Genesis are so old that other contenders for an official origin story are around, at the time of the recording of the Wisdom of Solomon 2:24.  For example, the contemporary Baal cycle expresses a decisive conflict among the gods.  The defeated are expelled.  The imagery is very similar to the first half of the storyline of Paradise Lost.  Isaiah 14 refers to the fate of the day star, the son of the dawn, fallen from heaven.  The imagination leaps from fallen celestial beings to the Nephilim (Genesis 6.2) to the serpent talking to Eve (Genesis 3).

The Dead Sea Scrolls also mention Adam, as if they know Genesis 3, but their vision is not anything like the doctrine of original sin.  They are retrieving Genesis 3, but the retrospection is not clear.


The written stories of Genesis 3 are novel, even though the oral tradition of the women of Israel is ancient.

0029 After the Resurrection, the letters of Paul link Adam and Jesus, with such amazing eloquence, that the concept of original sin floats right below the surface.

The surface of what?