Then God said, “Let us make אדם in our image, according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea . . .
Then God created אדם in God’s own image,
in the image of God, God created them,
male and female God created them.
The word אדם has three different meanings in Hebrew: “Humanity,” the collection of all human beings alive; “man” or “male,” one side of the Gender Binary; “Adam,” a proper noun, referring to a specific person of that name. Translators have to make judgements on which English word to substitute. In Genesis 1:26, translators recognize the text refers to humanity because it is plural (“God created them.”) However, even this is not always clear. In Genesis 2, translators tend to start with “Man” and evolve toward “Adam,” usually to pair “Woman” with “Man” and “Eve” with “Adam.” While this sounds nicer to the English ear, I believe that using just one word throughout would be more accurate to the author’s intention, who only uses one word, אדם, throughout.
The same word is very similar to the Hebrew word for dirt, dust, soil, or earth in Genesis 2:7, “The LORD God fashioned אדם of dust” which is making a play on the words. To show that connection, W. Gunther Plaunt translates “God fashioned an earthling from the earth.” I appreciate that translation for additional reasons, too. A passage so familiar as Gen 1-3 is hard to separate what we believe because we had good reasons to and what we believe just because we assumed it for so long. Using an equally accurate, if not more accurate, translate rubs the sleep from our eyes. Second, it is nearly impossible to think of “Adam” as anything but a male and a man but the text does not demand this. As proof, Gen 1:27 says God created אדם both male and female.
Let us challenge your assumption that the pre-Woman Earthling is male. The Earthling had different stages of life, pre-Woman and post-Woman. There is no debate of the Earthling’s post-Woman sex; he was male. But there is significant debate over the Earthling original, pre-Woman, sex with many scholars believing the Earthling was an androgyne (literally “man-woman”) - both and equally male and female in one body. When God put the Earthling to sleep, God removed the Earthling’s female side from which God fashioned Woman and left the male side which ended in the male, post-Woman Earthling.
No doubt my readers are as dumbstruck by this idea as I was on first research. The reason Christians teach pre-Woman Earthling is male is not based on Scripture but on a baseless assumption There is also latent sexism; In fact, one way to define “sexist” is “believing that men come first.” Instead, I will use solid, biblical exegesis.
To shake off the idea that anything you believed your whole life cannot be wrong, let us first interpret something that is not debated - the mythical rib. One hundred years ago, some English translators researched the translation of צלע, that which was taken from Earthling and formed into Woman. In all of the First Testament, צלע means “side,” never rib. Only in Gen 2 have translators used “rib.” Everywhere else, Hebrew uses a dedicated word for rib. Extra-biblical Hebrew texts also never use צלע to mean “rib.” Further, in ancient translations like the Septuagint, צלע is translated as “side” even from Gen 2.
Translators now universally agree on this translation. There is no justification for “rib.” Some translations now use “side” yet others, like the NIV, retain “rib,” despite the complete absence of support. I hazard to guess two possible reasons: Translators have never looked into the matter or translators did not feel it was worth changing because the Church has become so used to the Woman coming from the Earthling’s rib. That Woman was formed from a rib is common knowledge even in our secular culture. In either case, all the evidence points to “side” yet many Bibles falsely use “rib.” If your own Bible reads “rib,” it is wrong, plain and simple.
Among those supporters of Androgyne Adam are the oldest Hebrew scholars, the writers of the Talmud. When I first searched for Adam in the Talmud I was shocked not only that the writers believe Adam was an androgyne, but I was also shocked at how normal it was. The Talmud is famous for debating minor details and giving multiple, conflicting views on the same topic on purpose. But the Earthling’s gender was not debated. They believed the Earthling an androgyne and no reason to make a fuss over it or defend the idea. Their historical context must have been unanimous on the subject. There are two explanations for this: The Hebrews believed in Androgyne Adam since Genesis was written and the talmudic writers followed; when Christianity blossomed, Gentiles did not bother studying Talmud and assumed if the Earthling died a man, he was born a man too. Or, the same as above except there was also a major shift of interpretation of the androgyne sometime between the origin of Genesis and the origin of the Talmud. Occam’s razor suggests the simpler, first explanation. It is rather silly to believe in something we have no evidence for, just because it fits our modern, unproven assumptions.
Other supporters include Rashi, the greatest of the medieval rabbis, Isaac Abravanel in the 15th century, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in the 19th century, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Umberto Cassuto,
There is some minor evidence in the text that the Earthling was always a man and only a man. Hebrew has two genders, masculine and feminine, unlike English which only has one and Greek which has three. Every Hebrew noun is either masculine or feminine. אדם is masculine whether it means “humanity,” “male,” or “Adam” which would seem to imply אדם is a male. Also, returning to occam’s razor, it is simper to interpret that the Earthling’s sex did not change than to interpret it did. A third reason is that the text does not explicitly say either way. The evidence ends there.
The linguistic gender is a weak argument because a word’s linguistic gender often bears no relation to the object’s “real” gender. Further, when men and women are in a group, the linguistic gender is always masculine. Angels are always referred to as linguistically masculine even though they are androgynes. If the Earthling were an androgyne, Genesis could not refer to it neutrally because Hebrew’s language structure makes that impossible and could not refer to it as feminine because gender combinations were not referred to as feminine.
Occam’s razor only holds true if both options are equally strong. Later we will see why Male Earthling is weaker than Androgyne Adam. The text’s silence is not evidence either way. As the first human, the Earthling had some peculiarities such as lacking a belly button. Since the Earthling was never in a womb, he would likely not have developed nipples or a raphe. Who is to say one of these peculiarities was not having a different gender? The text’s silence can only mean the Earthling’s gender is not critical to the narrative. The narrative is concerned with God’s creative power, sovereignty, wisdom, relationship with humans, and marriage, innocence, sin, temptation, shame, pain, and redemption far more than gender and the Earthling’s gender doesn’t affect those items.
Now for support. Gen 2 says God formed () Woman out the אדם, not created (). Contrast this with Gen 1 where God creates humanity. This indicates something fundamentally different about the act. By St. Augustine’s popular reasoning, “create” means to have something exist which did not exist prior. “Form” means to change something which already existed into something different. Since Woman was not created in Gen 2 she already existed. Where else could she exist but inside אדם?
In Hebrew poetry, style dictates using two or even three lines to repeat the same message. It requires skill to repeat your meaning without repeating the same words and to do so elegantly. The meanings may be changed, but only slightly. Gen 1:27 is Scripture’s first instance of poetry. Sure enough, we find this method. Each lines affirms that God has created אדם in God’s image. The reason we even know that the image of God is male and female is from the poem’s structure, that “male and female” takes the synonymous position of “image of God.” The poem is virtually repeated in Gen 5:1-2 with a major difference. Notice the use of singular.
Genesis then gives the Man’s “begets.” The difference here is that whereas as Gen 1 used אדם to refer to humanity, Gen 5 uses אדם as the Man. Scholars already agree that Gen 1 refers to humanity and Gen 5:1, 3 to the Man. Only 5:2 is disagreed on. The basic reading is that if אדם means Man in v1 and v3, it means “Man” in v2; how bizarre it would be to switch back and forth without warning and without clear purpose.
Also note the usage of “image” in each verse which indicates the verses should be interpreted tightly together. As vv1-2 are an echo of Gen 1:27, it is only reasonable that the image of God is the same as in Gen 1:27, both male and female. Furthermore, v2 reminds us that the image of God is male and female, just in case we forgot. Thus v1 calls the singular Earthling both male and female.
Basic grammar tells us that “them” in v2 cannot refer to the Man and the Woman both because v1 is a clear division into a new section, a begetting section, and Eve is no where to be seen. “Them” can only refer to singular Earthling. Since it cannot be post-Woman Earthling who is a Man, it must be pre-Woman Earthling. Either that or accuse sacred Scripture of making a grammatical mistake.
We do not even need Gen 5 to know the Earthling was an androgyne. Common sense is enough. The reason I personally became convinced of Androgyne Adam had nothing to do with transgenderism, I had no idea I was trans at the time. Androgyne Adam just makes more sense and is more consistent with God’s pattern of Creation. Every act of creation has God take a single thing and split it into two and then fill it. God splits the waters into sea and sky; light into Sun and Moon; the sea into sea and land. Then, God fills the waters with fish, the sky with birds and stars, and the land with beasts and humans. Finally, God splits the Earthling into Man and Woman. Just as the primordial waters contained the sky and land, just as the light already contained the Sun and Moon and Stars, so the Earthling must have contained both Woman and Man.
When Man sees Woman, he sings that she has come from him, “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” He was asleep during her formation but instantly recognizes she came from his own body and not from the ground as he did. How could he recognize Woman unless he recognized something was missing from himself, his female side?
Traditionally, Christians have interpreted Scripture on four different layers: literally, morally, allegorically, and anagogically. Every layer happens simultaneously and harmoniously. Balancing such complexity is a sign of a genius author. Genesis 1-3 can and should be interpreted in all these layers and we can use each of them to learn about the Earthling’s gender.
The most exposed layer of a story and the simplest to understand is the literal layer. The literal interpretation has become combined and equated with the historical interpretation. When we think of the literal Tree of Life, we think of an actual and historical tree trunk and leaves which any day now may be discovered, photographed, and spread over the Internet. That’s unfortunate if only because it invites confusion. In literary analysis, the literal interpretation refers to the plot, characters, setting, and all those basic story elements from school. Every story, including fiction, has a literal reading. In the Lord of the Rings, the literal layer is that Frodo journeys to destroy a powerful Ring and all the conflicts, conversations, lands, and subplots that impact him. Whether you believe Genesis 2 is a historical account or not does not affect its literal interpretation.
Sex is the division of a species into two groups. When humanity was a species of just one member, it could not be divided into two groups. The first human, regardless of his genitals, genes, or gametes, he was neither male nor female. As the only human in history, he simply was what he was. Biologically, a creature is male if their gametes are smaller than their partner’s, but for some time the Earthling did not have a partner. Who knows if he had gametes at all, but if so, he had nothing to compare his with. Who knows what genes he had, but without another human to compare, his chromosomes had no counterpoint. The only reason the Y chromosome is male is because (non-intersex) females don’t have it; the only reason the XX combination is female is because (non-intersex) males don’t have it. Sex can only exist in contrast. Without a variant, sex ceases to exist. Similarly, the Earthling had no race because race did not yet exist.
This may also be why אדם refers both to his proper name and to his species. Without another human with another name, there was no reason to differentiate אדם the individual from אדם the species. This may also be why אדם refers to his gender as well. When there was just one אדם, differentiating would be redundant. Adam (אדם) was manhood (אדם) itself and both were humanity (אדם) itself. But when another human was created, the first thing the Earthling does is create a new word to differentiate them.
The text says nothing of the earthling’s genitals but Christian exegetes (Jewish one do not) make the assumption that the earthling had a penis. I have yet to find any scholar actually give a reason for this. Coming off the assumption that God removed only the earthling’s rib, that is reasonable. Why would chest surgery affect his genitals? But knowing that the rib translation is false, we have no excuse for that assumption. That God took the earthling’s side begs, “What side was taken?” Was it the earthlings top side or left side? The Talmud’s historical exegesis interprets God removing the earthling’s back side, as if a male and female stood back-to-back. However the earthling was divided, whether we take the Talmudic view or any number of possibilities, it was quite likely God operated on the earthling’s groin. We cannot know for certainly, but we can certainly use this information to eliminate the standard male-only genitals from the earthling’s groin and here is why:
Perhaps we have heard the Adam and Even creation story so often that we overlook that God acts extremely out of character. God is omniscient and always the same, yesterday, today, and forever. God knew all my relationships before the foundations of the world so God knew perfectly well that neither hyena nor pipefish would satisfy as a partner for the earthling. Yet God feigns ignorance, as if this is a learning process for God and the earthling together. This is a theme in Genesis: God acts as if not knowing where Eve and the earthling are when they sin; In the Flood account, God “regrets” having created humanity as if God did not know they would sin so much; God goes to Sodom to see if there are any good people, as if God requires angels for knowledge. Perhaps God is playing dumb; perhaps the author is taking creative license.
Therefore, God would not have given the earthling standard male genitals because they make no sense without female genitals. Can you imagine God looking at the earthlings penis and trying to figure our why it was created? Sperm have no function with ovaries, ovum, and a uterus. Having created just half the set would imply that God already had everything worked out ahead. Of course, God actually did know everything. Do not think I am suggesting heresy. God could have created him with shoes and sunscreen. Paul writes that God had a salvation plan even before Creation began (Ephesians 1:4). The difference is between what God could have done and what God would have done. If God was acting consistently, and God always act consistently, the earthling would not have orphaned genitals. The earthling could either have had no genitals, with God creating them with the Woman, or the earthling had both sets of genitals, reproducing like self-fertilizing plants and animals. In either case, the first human was an androgyne.
Thus, the literal layer of Genesis 2 is that the first human was an androgyne, both and/or neither female and male, woman and man. However, before your spine tingles too much, keep the interpretive layers in perspective. The literal layer is superficial and only points inward upon itself. The literal layer explains the story; it does not explain anything outside the story such as morals, meaning, and certainly no advice on how transgender people should act. Do not confuse what is with what should be. After all, Jesus literally walked around Israel impoverished and smelled awful, just like everyone in that culture. That alone does not mean any of us should ship off to Israel and repeat Jesus’ literal actions.
Nonetheless, there are two things to take away from the earthling literal androgyny. First, as if it was not clear enough from the previous chapter, Scripture is very familiar with gender variance. It cannot be stated that the great ancestor of all of us transcended gender. It is in our very blood. Any Christian who believes that gender variance is foreign to Christianity speaks in ignorance. Second, the androgyne Adam may give comfort to transgender and intersex readers. When we hear stories, we always want to relate to at least one character; they become our “eternal return” to the story. When I was a boy, I identified best with the young boys in the BIble – young Jesus and Samuel. Now that I understand Adam was literally an androgyne, I can relate to him so much more deeply than ever before. I confess, I did not even like him before. Feeling more connected with the story, I became more receptive to the moral, allegorical, and anagogical layers and God works deeper and stronger through them. Genderqueer and intersex are targeted most, but anyone who has ever felt they overlap the Gender Binary or do not always conform to being a manly man or a womanly woman can empathize with Adam and receive new profundity from him.
The entire purpose of the literal layer in any story is to grab our attention and keep us entertained long enough to soak up the other layers. So in the Creation Account, Adam’s androgyny beckons us deeper.
Digging past the literal layer we find the moral layer. The moral layer tells us in relatively simple terms how we should apply the story to moral decisions in our own lives. Virtually every story has a moral layer; those which do not typically do not keep our attention. The essential moral of Genesis 1-3 is that we should obey God, demonstrated by the literal eating of the fruit and its effects. Christians and Jews have written countless books entirely on this subject. I only want to touch on the morals related to gender and gender variance.
On the most basic level, gender is irrelevant. Both the Man and Woman sin. Both suffer the consequences. Their actions are not identical, but they are similar enough.
The original sin takes place only after Humanity is split into sexes. As a unified androgyne, we do not see Humanity tempted. When we are split in two, we become more vulnerable to external forces. Had Woman and Man worked together, they could have rebuffed the Serpent.
It is not always pointed out that the Woman was not fully aware of God’s moral command. She had not yet been formed when God commanded the pre-Woman Earthling not to eat the Fruit. Apparently, the Man did tell her but something was miscommunicated as she believes she cannot touch it whereas God only said not to eat. The Man, however, did know. Let us also point out that although the Serpent addresses Woman, not Man, the Man is present all along. “. . . her husband with her . . .” (v6) The Man watches passively, leaving the Woman to defend herself alone. The Woman has been greatly slandered by those not realizing this, thinking that when the Woman gave the fruit to the Man, she was encouraging and tempting him. This cannot be the case. The Woman and Man were in the same situation.
The Woman does not have Man’s knowledge but does have the chutzpah to duel with the Serpent but loses in part because she lacks Man’s knowledge. Man loses because he lacks Woman’s energy.
An allegory is an extended metaphor. An allegory is made of several elements, each of which is a representation of an element of the real world. For example, Jesus’ parables were allegories. The lost coin, pearl of great price, and the mustard seed all present the Kingdom of God. The sower and the vineyard owner represent God while the sower’s seeds and the vineyard owner’s son represent Christ. Allegories may make entertaining stories, but their significance lies in their interpretation.
Remember my point that the literal layer of a story does not dictate whether or not the story is historical, neither does the allegorical layer. The historical Hosea and his prostitute wife allegorized the marriage of God with unfaithful Israel. Likewise with the anagogical layer. The Gospel, that Jesus is risen, is anagogy of the highest degree and that does not alter is historicity one bit.
The struggle of allegorical interpretations is knowing how to translate it out of an allegory so we can understand it. Even in allegory, some story elements are still literal. Both the literal world and allegorical world both have fish and birds; the animals do not represent anything. Similarly, some elements are neither literal nor allegorical but exist solely to move the story along. These tend to be brief details. I am sure the fig leaves fall into this category. That the author uses fig leaves and not fig fruit or stalks does not tell use any mystical meaning about leaves, simply that picturing the earthlings absurdly dressed in fruit would keep us from taking the story seriously.
Despite being an element of the original sin, the Hebrews had nothing against eating figs nor do they consider them holy. Just because the story features an element does not necessarily give that element meaning. Nor does absence imply meaning. The story does not say that our allegorical ancestors used spades to tend Eden or baskets to gather seeds but that does not make spades or baskets sinful! So if someone pointed out that bigender behavior is absent from the story and that makes it sinful, you are justified to roll your eyes. Who knows? Perhaps the Woman and Man regularly swapped gender roles and expressions with the Man acting like the Woman and the Woman the Man once in a while. Surely the author would not record it; there are far more important points to get to! Besides, then Christians might believe everyone should be bigender and that it not true either.
We do know story elements have allegorical value when the author goes out of their way to mention them or spends extended time on them. Given the Creation Account is so brief, only fifty-six verses, more than one or two verses constitutes extended time.2 The creation of Woman is certainly significant as is her formation from the earthling. Genesis spends a good four verses on this fact (1:21-24) and the earthling even spouts a poem about it.
The androgyne view of the Earthling is also backed up if you take an allegorical view. If Adam was purely male, what would it mean that Woman was made from Man? Christians used to believe it meant women are superior to men because Man came first. One could argue that because the Creation Account is ascending, each creation more impressive than the last, it means women are superior because they were God’s grand finale. It could symbolize that every woman has a father; all women come from men. However, every man also has a mother and all men come from women. All of these are erroneous.
However, it does make allegorical sense for the first earthling to be an androgyne. Biologists predict that the first life did not have a sex, that it reproduced asexually, and every creature then had just one parent, not two. Only later did divided sexes develop as an improvement over asexuality. Thus, Hermaphrodite Adam represents our asexual ancestor and the split into Man and Woman represents the split into sexed counterparts. Alternatively, Hermaphroditic could represent our most recent common human ancestor, who biologists allegorical named Y-chromosomal Adam. Our most recent matrilineal common ancestor is Mitocondrial Eve. Ironically, Mitocondrial Eve is older than Y-chromosomal Adam. Or, Hermaphroditic Adam could represent our sexual etiology explained in the chapter Sex and Intersex. Remember than all of us, female and male, were once sexually undifferentiated in our mother’s womb, lacking genitals and all secondary sex characteristics. The creation of Woman from Man is certainly significant and if interpret the Creation Account as allegorical, the allegory could refer to any one of these facts or all three. One could even argue that any or all of these allegories infer the Creation Account is divinely inspired because none of the Hebrews knew any of these facts. However, if we argue the earthling was only male, we come up bankrupt.
Gen 2 includes an explicit allegory into the text, in case we are too dense to find it alone. “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh.” The Man and Woman seek to recreate their origin state as one person through marriage and sexual intercourse. The undivided, androgyne Earthling corresponds to the married couple. Christians now finally appreciate that man and woman are equal partners in marriage. What better allegory for marriage than a single human who is both female and male? That is exactly what Genesis 2 is pointing out. In fact, if you picture sexual intercourse as Genesis alludes in a standard sexual position, that picture is exactly the same as the Talmud’s description of Androgyne Adam.
However, if we think of marriage the way it was perverted for so long, as a man with his piece of property or a wife as a trophy or sidekick, we form a far different picture. In fact, we picture something like the mistranslation of the rib: Adam is only male and just a small, insignificant part of him is taken to make Woman; Man is large, dominant and the marriage is essentially an enterprise driven by him while Woman is small and ineffectual. I believe this sexism that infiltrated Judaism and then Christianity bears responsibility for perverting our understanding of Gen 2. That and preferring mistranslations for fear of making Christians uncomfortable.
Remember that Man was made from dust, yet Man has no desire to marry the earth. The desire of Woman is not to marry Man’s rib or skin or some piece of his personality, but the whole him. This can only mean that Woman was not made from a small piece of the Earthling but of something fundamental. Gen 2 instead tells us God put God’s own fundamental breath/soul (the Hebrew, ruach, means both breath and soul) into the Earthling and that is why humans desire God.
Neither the rib nor patriarchal marriage are supported by the text of Genesis and neither is the concept of pre-Woman Adam as only male. The only way to properly and consistently interpret “the two become one flesh” is to understand that Adam, before Woman was created, was the perfect union of male and female in the same way that marriage and sexual intercourse are.
Also note the Bible saying the man clings to his wife, not vice versa. Whenever I hear that I picture the famous photo of John Lennon clinging to Yoko Ono. In the more literal sense, this refers to matrilocal marriage where the man leaves his family and joins the woman and her family. Isaac and Jacob follow this custom by leaving their parents to find their wives. Moses leaves his entire nation to live with his wife, Zipporah and her family for forty years. “To cling” implies the husband relies on his wife for survival. As allegory, that exactly corresponds to Adam relationship with the Woman. Adam is not up to the task of living alone, no one is, and must cling to Woman, flesh of his flesh, to attain completeness. The Woman, not Adam, is the divine aid. If this suggests that either sex was dominant in the Androgyne, it is not the male. In the Androgyne, female and male were both presence and co-equal. In heterosexual marriage, they return so and transcend their individual sexes.
The anagogical layer refers to the invisible, heavenly or spiritual interpretation. It is most concerned with humanity’s ultimate destiny – the afterlife, reconciliation with God, the resolution of all earthly conflict. Popular examples of anagogy are the Red Sea referring to the blood of the Crucifixion, First Testament prophecies of Jesus, and the entirety of Revelation.
Scripture as a whole is anagogical – is demonstrates the pilgrimage from Creation to sin to Christ. Gen 1-3 is one of the most explicit anagogical passages of the Bible, narrating the first half, from Creation to sin, from good to evil. It softly references the second half, from sin to Christ and evil to good, in God’s prophecy to the Woman, about to become Eve. “I will cause hostility between you and the Woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:5) One of the first things we learn about the Messiah is that he will be born of the Woman. We cannot help but notice the special place the Woman is given and not Man. This does not mean women are somehow superior. It does refer to the gender mixture of the first Woman and her son.
Having gone through several waves of feminism, this will not sound significant to our culture but to the patriarchal Hebrew culture it was bizarre. The Hebrews are culturally referenced as children of Abraham, not Sarah, and the twelve sons of Jacob, not Rachel and Leah’s daughters. That God specifically mentions Woman, not Man, is indicative. Furthermore, early in Israel’s history, they had no concept of the afterlife. For them, living beyond death meant having children. It is Eve who is called Mother and who will live; the man is not connected with the Messiah and humanity’s salvation. Eve would live on through Messiah and Messiah would hold Eve’s blood in his veins, making him a spiritual androgyne.
Messiah is already seen as Man’s replacement, the Second Adam. The first Adam failed. As an androgyne, Adam failed because he was alone. “It is not good for the Earthling to be alone.” Then Man and Woman failed when they separated by succumbing to temptation. Even worse, the Man only makes excuses while the Woman confesses. God rewards Woman’s repentance by promising her offspring in general and Messiah in particular. What’s more, Eve and Messiah will join mystically (not physically as Woman and Man were), replacing Man’s role, to defeat the Serpent and sin. Messiah will be androgyne because Eve lives on within him. As a unified androgyne, Messiah will perform what a divided Woman and Man could not.
If we take the narrative as historical, something magical happens! Eve is the first mother; she does not know what pregnancy is or what causes it. She and her husband must have been shocked to find her body swelling and revealing a human being within. Remember that up to this point, humans were created directly by God. Eve must have seemed god-like. Anthropologists commonly believe that the power of Woman to bear children and Man’s powerlessness there was significant in early human civilization, probably explaining the common practice of worshipping a female god rather than a male god.
Notice when Eve gives birth to Cain, she attributes the act to God, as if her husband had nothing to do with it. That is not true literally, but it is true anagogically. The Man did not repent, Eve did. The Man has nothing to do with Eve’s birth. Likewise, Mary gives birth to Jesus because of God, not Man.
God’s prophecy to Eve is purposefully ambiguous about the exact identity. God does not say Messiah will not be born for thousands of years, just one of her millions of offspring. Were I Eve, I would have believed Cain, my first offspring, was Messiah. Anagogically, again, all of Eve’s offspring are Christ because God calls us to be children of God and heirs to the promise (Gal 3:29). Some of us, like Cain, fail but others, like Abel, succeed. In the New Jerusalem, we will all meet Eve and she will behold all those who struck the Serpent’s head.
Note the appearance of the angel at the end of chapter 3. The Earthling was first changed to take care of Eden which included protecting its essential trees from outside attack. Because the Serpent used one Tree to tempt the Man and Woman, humanity had failed. The cherubim now takes the task of the original Earthling, mystically becoming the Earthling.
The cherubim and Earthling share something else – they are androgynes. Whereas the Androgyne Adam is no more after God sexes them, another androgyne takes their place and fulfills their identity. But angels, and anagogy, refer essentially to our future in the New Jerusalem because we become like them. Therefore the guardian cherubim hints that just as humanity once was an androgyne, to the Androgyne we will return.
The collective unconscious manifests into purposeful fiction like The Lord of the Rings but also into the myths from the dawn of civilizations. The myths of the dying god, great flood, and virgin birth in various stories all over the world demonstrate God’s work mystically engrained on the psyche. This signs are not limited to complete stories but also story elements. In C. G. Jung’s great work, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, he calls these story elements archetypes. These include the Cosmic Tree (e.g., Tree of Good and Evil, tree of Calvary), War in Heaven (Lucifer and Revelation), the Fall, the Call, Death/Rebirth, the Trickster (Serpent), the Wise Fool (1 Corinthians 3), and on and on. Jung was trying to tie archetypes to pagan myths, not the Bible, but it works remarkably well!
Additionally, Jung recognized three related archetypes: Anima (masculine spirit), Animus (feminine spirit), and the Androgyne. To Jung, all humans contain both the anima and animus, with one being dominant. Thus we are all androgynes in one sense, but the true Androgyne is the mystic archetype which contains both elements in equal measure and perfect balance.
Reason enough to believe in Androgyne Adam is the inherent sexism in believing that our common ancestor, our archetype, is a man. The archetype is our sense of who we are meant to be. Racism is the belief that the archetypical person is a particular race and we are all meant to be that race. If the Earthling was only a man, it means we are all meant to become men and that men are closer to salvation than women. Either sexism is wrong, which means that cannot be, or sexism is right which means we ought to rid equality from the Church.
The psyche has the intrinsic need to find relationship between their anima and animus. This happen in an unhealthy way, such as misogyny or misandry where one is believed to be evil. Heterosexual desire and relationship is another method. “Men are from mars, women are Venus” is another. Transpeople use unusual methods for reconciliation by physically uniting the two in our own bodies.
Creation myths are a good place to resolve the anima and animus because because they deal with archetypes and beginnings. Genesis resolves them by informing they are fundamentally harmonious and were once completely united. Pre-woman Adam, the story’s archetype, symbolizes what every human desires to return to and the heterosexual marriage demonstrates how to partially do so. But Genesis is not the only creation story to inform us about the androgyne.
In Norse mythology, the first human is the giant, Ymir, born out of the ice. Ymir, while referred to as a man, was an androgyne. Alone, he gave birth to three children: another giant and two humans, a man and a woman, the first humans.
According to the Navajo, the first child of the first woman and first man was an androgyne. I argue that the parents, as humanity’s Creator, is God. The parents had more children, all of them in pairs of twins. Each twin included one girl and one boy. The Zuni, a tribe of the Pueblo, believed the Creator god was an androgyne.
The creation account of Hermeticism is remarkably similar to Genesis. The Supreme God is both female and male. The earth was pulled from the waters and animals raised out of the ground. The Supreme God created the first human, an androgyne, in God’s own image.
The Dogon tribe of Mali, Africa tells of Creation this way: First there was only Amma, the supreme god. Then Amma formed the earth below. From the earth was born the first perfect creature, Nommo, an androgyne with both male and female parts. Amma was satisfied. From Nommo can four people, the first humans, who were each an androgyne. Each androgyne split into women and men pairs.
Among Hinduism, androgyny is everywhere. The gods never hesitate to manifest in either female or male avatars. But behind their avatars, they are androgynes. Similarly, every human body is the avatar of their androgyne true self. The gender variant people of India and Pakistan are called “hijras,” Arabic for “pilgrimage” because they take the journey toward androgyny while still alive.
Plato, in his Symposium described that in the beginning were three humans: a woman, a man, and an androgyne and each had two sides, two face, etc. The androgyne had one male side and one female side. When Zeus sees they are becoming too powerful, he attacks them by splitting them each in two. The androgyne halves, now a woman and a man, miss their previous unity and are filled with lust and try to join together. All heterosexuals are descended from this androgyne.
But the most important Creation Account with the most important archetype is not Genesis, it is the Gospel and Messiah. We are all created again through Christ, who is an androgyne.
You might react negatively to Androgyne Adam for its sheer strangeness. "It can't possibly be true; it's just too weird." That response itself is a strange idea because Christians believe much stranger things than that: women marrying angels (Genesis 6:4), a prophet living underwater in a fish for three days, God becoming human, selling all you have to give to the poor, and defeating death by dying. The only difference between Adam's strangeness is that we haven't gotten used to it yet.