Ziony Zevit on The Fall: “Looking in on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden”


On November 10, 2011, Ziony Zevit delivered a lecture on the idea of “the Fall” to the Agudas Achim Congregation, Alexandria, Virginia. The lecture is available as an mp3 and on iTunes.

The idea of  “the Fall” of humanity from divine grace as a result of original sin is deeply ingrained in both Jewish and Christian religious consciousness. Although the idea of the Fall is attested in Jewish writings of the first century BCE, the New Testament, and in Rabbinic texts, it is unknown in the Hebrew Bible.

This lecture looks in on Adam and Eve as they walk through the garden, eavesdrops on their reported conversations, and watches as God drives them out from Eden. Following in their footsteps, as portrayed in Genesis 2 – 4, and reading the biblical text very closely, it undertakes to respond to the following questions and discover why what we think we know is wrong: Why does the Hebrew Bible not consider what happened in the garden a Fall? Why did later thinkers come to think of what happened there as the Fall? And if not a Fall, what did happen there?

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