An elaboration on the biblical account of Adam and Eve, this story, in the Latin version called Vita Adae et Evae, probably comes from the same source as the Apocalypse of Moses. Various, significant differences, however, allow for a variety of explanations as to their relation. The account begins after Adam and Eve have been forced to leave the garden, but the characters recall their life in the garden on several occasions.
Eve is portrayed as entirely responsible for the fall and subsequent transgressions. While Adam attempts to do penitence, Eve is again deceived by Satan, who, this time, appears to her as an angel of light. Thus, when in the pain of childbirth Eve pleads God for mercy, she receives none. But when Adam asks for assistance for her, his request is granted. Many other elements of the story that are not provided in the canon are included in The Life, such as: Satan's fall from Heaven, an early vision given Eve regarding her son's demise, Adam and Eve's 60 additional children, and the serpent biting Seth. In this story, the supposition is that when a person dies, his or her spirit leaves the body and is not rejoined until the resurrection in the age to come.
Canonical Status: Part of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
Author: Probably Jewish
Original Language:Probably written in Hebrew Translated into Latin and Greek Debated relationship between the Latin and Greek editions Probably developed independently An Armenian recension was made in the fifth or sixth centuries, from the Apocalypse of Moses An existing Slavonic translation mixes the Greek and Latin versions
Provenance: disputed and uncertainPerhaps a Jew of Alexandria, Egypt Probably from Pharisaic circles within Palestine
Date:Hebrew version from first century BCE to first century CE Greek (Apocalypsis Mosis) and Latin (Vita Adae et Evae) between the second and fourth centuries CE.
Notes prepared by Kara Lyons (Senior Religion Major)
Wesley Center for Applied Theology at Northwest Nazarene University
Copyright 2001 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology
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