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Race Relations In The Bible – Part 1: The Ethnicity of Adam and Eve

Was everyone in the Bible white? Could Jesus have been black? Who was the Queen of Sheba? Was interracial marriage forbidden? These are some of the questions that we’ve been debating on Facebook lately, and it prompted me to really dig into the subject.

Introduction To The Series

This series is going to be an intense and scriptural look into race relations in the Bible. It’s not about saying any specific person is any specific race, but a good, honest look into the subject. Far too often people like to avoid the issue of race in scripture because it challenges preconceived notions and long held beliefs that may not be true.

  • Discussion and Debate Are Encouraged
  • Links To Other Resources Are Encouraged
  • Enjoy The Study

At the end of each part in the series, you’ll find an FAQ and a summary of the next part in the series. If you have something to add, please feel free to leave a comment using the form at the bottom of the page. With that said, let’s start at the very beginning:

What Color Were Adam and Eve?

Brown Adam and EveAccording to the Bible, God made man (Adam) from the dust of the ground, and blew life into him. Here’s the exact verse:

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” – Genesis 2:7-8

By the time we’re done with this part of the series, we should have a pretty decent idea of at least the skin tone of Adam and Eve. Here are a few quick observations we can make just by looking at the verse:

  1. man was made from the dust of the ground.
  2. the garden was on the east side of Eden.
  3. man was not created in the garden.
  4. man was placed in the garden after he was created.

If I was a real life detective (I just play one on the internet), I would try to find out the following information first:

  •  Where was Eden located?
  • What color ground soil does the area have?

After I found the location, I’d go search the area for evidence, and possibly an apple (I know it wasn’t an apple).  Let’s go find Eden.

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Where Was Eden Located?

According to the Bible, the location of Eden can be found using the following general coordinates:

“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.” – Genesis 2:10-14

Now we have some great information that can help us narrow down the possibilities:

  • One river turns into 4 rivers.
  • The Pison River
  • The Gihon River
  • The Hiddelkel River
  • The Euphrates River

Garden of Eden

I’m not saying that this is the exact location of Eden, but general consensus places it somewhere in the general area. So now lets look what color ground is found there, and I just so happened to have found a picture of dust from the Iraqi ground:

Dust of The Earth

Maybe its just me, but that dust looks brownish, meaning Adam and Eve were likely (not definitely) darker skinned people. At the very least, we know they started in the Middle East.

Middle Eastern people tend to be darker than white people, but lighter than black people (albinos excluded). To be fair, we’re looking at the soil of a long barren land, and Eden was fertile. So what does fertile soil look like?

I clicked on over to Google and looked up “Fertile Soil”, and then clicked “Images” to see what would come up. Click here to see all of the pics for yourself.

When we Google “fertile soil” this is the very first image that comes up in the search. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what kind of soil may have been in the area, but chances are, the prevailing depictions of Adam and Eve are false.

Bible Fact: Eden was destroyed in Noah’s flood. That means those that go looking for it probably won’t find its exact location ever.

If you have any evidence or arguments that you’d like to contribute, please hesitate to use the form below to drop your comments. Also, remember to share this and see what your family and friends think.

Frequently Asked Questions (Part 1)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on this subject. If you have a question that you want answered, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Q. Does it matter what race Adam and Eve were?

A. Nope. Not at all. However, some people believe that race somehow figures into salvation, but it doesn’t. Here are two examples of such hate groups:

Q. What if I believe Adam and Eve were white?

A. You’re probably wrong, and should base your beliefs on what the Bible says.

  • Refer to the dust picture.
  • Refer to the fertile soil picture.

Q. What if I believe Adam and Eve were black?

A. You just might be right, but the fact is that we don’t know for sure, and ultimately it has no bearing on salvation.

Q. Was Cain’s mark black skin?

A. No it wasn’t. The Bible does not say that, and the people that teach it are adding to scripture, which is a sin (Proverbs 30:6).

Next Up In This Series

Race Relations In The Bible: What THEY Don’t Want You To Know – Part 2 – In Part 2 we’ll be discussing Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and how they spread out after the flood.

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Got Salvation?: Ask for forgiveness of your past sins, believe that Jesus is the son of God, believe that He died and resurrected to save you from your sins, and invite Him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." - Romans 10:13
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  • Summer Munday

    Yeah, I agree that they most certainly were not white. However, the world was definitely different before the flood so we cannot say what the weather landscape, etc was during Adam and Eve’s day and that today’s weather had any bearing on their skin tone. I guess that line of reasoning is just questionable to me. I suppose the weather was evenly temperate and would have been conducive to a darker tone, however, the protective atmosphere against the sun’s rays may have been more condusive to fairer tones. Who’s to say though, it’s all speculation even if it’s interesting to do so! 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the great info. I really enjoy your articles, especially the Seth book!

  • That’s why I didn’t say they were black. However, there is also no reason to believe they were white.

    In fact, we know that Eden was located in the Middle East, and maybe part of Africa, seeing that one of the rivers flowed through Ethiopia.

    Coming from that part of the world, they would’ve been darker if we go by melanin, but definitely not white.

  • Summer Munday

    Certainly not denying that Adam and Eve could have been black but I’m not convinced that saying because they were created from the dust of the earth equates to being that color, since from our original parents we have numerous shades of skin, melanin. The materials used do not necessitate being the same color of those materials.

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