The Bible says that God took a rib from Adam’s side and created Eve. The process is never explained just like the process of creation itself is never explained. Now there’s a new theory:
“A professor of the Bible in California has posed the theory that the Adam and Eve narrative in the book of Genesis was mistranslated and that Eve was created not out of Adam’s rib, but his baculum, or penis bone.
“Ziony Zevit, a professor of biblical literature and Northwest Semitic languages at American Jewish University in California, recently presented his argument in an article in Biblical Archaeology Review based both on what he believes to be an erroneous translation for the Hebrew word for ‘rib’ and also on the unique anatomy of the human male, one of the few mammals lacking a baculum.
Anyone the least bit familiar with biology should be able to find the flaw in the argument without having any knowledge of what the Bible actually says.
Did you spot it?
Just because a person loses some part of this anatomy does not mean that he does not pass on the full array of his DNA to his progeny. If God used Adam’s baculum, then men today would still have a baculum like they still have 12 pairs of ribs.
My father served in WW II and Korea. While in Korea, his right leg was blown off in a mortar attack. If he and my mother had had another child, he or she would not be missing a right leg. This is basic biology.
Some people have actually believed that men have one less rib than women based on the creation story. Type “Do men have one less rib than women?” on your favorite search engine, and you’ll be surprised as to how many hits you’ll get.
Let’s take a look at the argument from the biblical text and see where it leads:
“In a cover story in Biblical Archaeology Review, ‘Was Eve Made from Adam’s Rib—or His Baculum?,’ Zevit argued that [the Hebrew word] ‘tsela’ appears 40 times in the Old Testament, but it was translated as ‘rib’ only in the Adam and Eve context.
“Elsewhere it was translated as ‘side,’ referring to an object protruding from the main body.
“‘This Hebrew word occurs some 40 times in the Hebrew Bible, where it refers to the side of a building or of an altar or ark (Exodus 25:12; 26:20, 26; 1 Kings 6:34), a side-chamber (1 Kings 6:8; Ezekiel 41:6), or a branch of a mountain (2 Samuel 16:13),’ Zevit wrote.”
It seems reasonable to assume that a body part taken from Adam’s side would be a rib. But there’s more to the text that supports the translation of “rib.” Elon Gilad, writing in response to Zevit’s claim, “pointed out that Genesis 2:21 specifically notes that ‘one of his ribs’ was taken, suggesting it was an object of which Adam had many, and he observed, ‘For one, studying the verse in question, it is clear that God is taking something from Adam of which he has many: “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof” (Genesis 2:21).’”
Bible commentator Matthew Henry (1662-1714) wrote:
Eve was not taken from Adam’s head that she should rule over him, nor from his feet, to be trampled under foot, but she was taken from his side that she might be his equal, from under his arm that she might be protected by him, near his heart, that he might cherish and love her.
Considering biology and the biblical text, “rib” seems to be the right translation.
- This is not the first time Zevit has espoused this theory. S. F. Gilbert and Z. Zevit, “Congenital Human Baculum Deficiency: The Generative Bone of Genesis 2:21-23,” American Journal of Medical Genetics (2001). [↩]
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