More on Adam and Eve
Yesterday I posted a response to the editorial about Adam and Eve in Christianity today, and today I am reading about Genesis 2-3 in Wellhausen’s Prolegomena.
Wellhausen’s approach is similar to the one I had adopted even prior to reading him. He views the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as representing a knowledge that is “in the highest sense…the attribute of God alone, who stands in the creative centre of things and penetrates and surveys the whole.”
Humankind, therefore, stretches out a hand towards the fruit in an effort to become like Yahweh, as Wellhausen says, “to learn His secret and imitate Him.”
This, in my opinion, is the same thing that happens in the beginning of the flood story, when the “Sons of God” come down and reproduce with humans, wherein the humans are elevated above normal human position. Again, towards the end of the Primeval History, humankind once again attempts to make a name for itself, and attempts to reach the heavens with the tower of Babel.
This recurrent theme of humankind attempting to obtain the status of divinity is the focus of the Primeval History. These accounts are not an attempt to tell a history, but to warn future generations of attempting to be God.