The Life of Adam and Eve.
An ancient biographical sketch.
University of Virginia: Life of Adam and Eve (synoptic English translation of the
Online Critical Pseudepigrapha.
OT Pseudepigrapha: Life of Adam and Eve,
Apocalypse of Moses,
and Life of Adam from the Golden Legend compiled by
Jacobus de Voragine (English only).
Revelation of Moses.
Book of Adam in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Apocrypha in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
The Biblical Story in Judaism and Christianity
(refer also to the research
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Jewish background texts
The Life of Adam and Eve is an ancient
biographical sketch of the first couple. Its Greek version is also known, rather
misleadingly, as the apocalypse of Moses.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the Life
of Adam and Eve:
James Charlesworth writes: "Of the many books attributed to Adam, the
most important are the Vita Adae et Evae and a different recension of
the same book, the misnamed Apocalypsis Mosis; the former was edited
by W. Meyer (Abhandlungen der Bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften,
14, 3  185-250) and the latter by C. Tischendorf (no. 1147) and A. M.
Ceriani (Monumenta Sacra et Profana. Milan: Bibliotheca Ambrosiana, 1861.
Vol. 5, 1, pp. 19-24). English translations of each recension are respectively
by L. S. A. Wells (APOT 2. Pp. 123-54) and M. B. Riddle (ANF 8.
Pp. 565-70). There is wide agreement that the original dates from the first
century A.D. and was composed in a Semitic language. This haggadic midrash on
Genesis 1-4 relates in 51 chapters (according to LAE) the life of Adam and Eve,
concentrating upon the problems encountered after the expulsion from Eden and
the cause of their rejection." (The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research,
Raymond F. Surburg writes (Introduction to the Intertestamental Period,
The northern and eastern parts of Eden were assigned to Adam, and the southern
and western parts to Eve. When their two guardian angels were absent, the
devil tempted Eve, and as a result of her succumbing, she at once recognized
her nakedness. When she attempted to make a girdle, all the trees refused
to have their leaves used except the fig tree.
After Adam and Eve had been expelled from Eden, they went hungry for days
because they were unable to eat grass (4:1 f). To overcome this difficulty,
Adam decides to do penance by standing for 40 days on a stone in the Jordan
River in water up to his neck; Eve does the same in the Tigris for 37 days.
The book then relates the circumstances attending the birth of Cain. This
is followed by an account of the murder of Abel and the birth of Seth. Adam
narrates to Seth his flight from Paradise. Surrounding Eden there were great
rivers, but Michael froze the waters around paradise and brought Adam back
to earth. Adam then predicted to Seth the history of the Jews up to the Last
Day. When Adam became very sick, Eve and Seth set out for Eden to secure a
drop of oil from the tree of mercy (36:2), which would cure Adam. Wild beasts
attack them on the way and Seth is bitten. Upon arrival at the gate of Paradise,
Seth and Eve are informed that the oil can only be had at the end of the present
age, and that Adam would die in six days.
In the Greek version of 'The Apocalpyse of Moses,' Eve gathers her offspring
and gives them a detailed account of transgressions and their immediate consequences,
stressing particularly the pronouncement and judgment upon Adam and Eve by
Jehovah. As Michael blows the trumpet, the hosts of heaven assemble. Then
God enters Eden on His chariot of cherubim and as angels sing, all the trees
in Paradise shoot forth blossoms. Following this is a paraphrase of Gen. 3:9-19.
With the death and burial of Adam and Eve the book ends.
Leonhard Rost writes: "There can be no doubt that the lost original can
be ascribed to a Jewish author who probably lived in Palestinepossibly
toward the end of the first century B.C. The year A.D. 70 is the terminus
ante quem, since the Templeof Herod?is still standing. The author
may have had affinities with Essene circles, as the ascetic features (especially
the Apocalypse's description of the physical separation of the sexes, even for
animals) suggest." (Judaism Outside the Hebrew Canon, p. 154)