It is well known that Eve was made out of one of the ribs of Adam. Or so the conventional wisdom goes as is found in the Bible in the book of Genesis 2:21. But a scholar has come up with an alternative theory that is pretty interesting.
He says that Eve was actually created out of Adam’s penis bone.
Christians have reacted with fury after a religious academic suggested Eve was not made from Adam’s rib, but was instead formed using his penis.
The theory, put forward by revered biblical professor Ziony Zevit, suggests God made Eve from Adam’s baculum, or penis bone.
Professor Zevit said this explains why man has no baculum, unlike most mammals, and why men don’t have an uneven number of ribs compared to women.
To support his theory, Professor Zevit from the American Jewish University in Maryland said the Hebrew word ‘tsela’, taken from the Old Testament, does not translate as ‘rib’ and instead ‘refers to limbs sticking out sideways from an upright human body.’
Zevit’s is of course a minority view.
Many (likely almost all) scholars reject Zevit’s theory out of hand and point to everything from major linguist issues (like the fact cognates of tsela exist in almost every Semitic language and mean rib in all of them) to the fact that similar creation-from-rib stories also appear in other ancient religions, like the one in Sumer.
Along with humans, other boneless penis mammals reportedly include horses, rhinos, rabbits and spider monkeys.
In addition to his 2013 book What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?, Zevit, along with biologist Scott Gilbert of Swarthmore College, had published this speculation originally in a letter to the American Journal of Medical Genetics back in 2001. You can see the letter here (subscription only). Here is more information on the baculum.
Christians are not happy about this.
A review of Professor Zevit’s book was recently published in The Biblical Archaeological Review magazine.
Reader Sue Glaze from Oakland, Maryland, said: ‘I write to express my disappointment with your magazine. I wish to cancel my subscription.
‘Come on now, Eve being created from Adam’s penis bone, rather than his rib?
‘That is plainly not a Bible teaching. I do not need and will not read articles that damage my faith or attempts to cause me to doubt what I know is the truth from the Bible.’
Even if this theory is wrong, I am not sure why Christians are getting so upset about it. After all, scholarly re-interpretations of ancient religious texts are not uncommon and this particular facet is a mere detail, hardly essential to the basic doctrines associated with the Garden of Eden story.