The stories in Genesis, including Adam and Eve, are adaptations of earlier Sumerian and other myths the Jews picked up while mixing with other cultures.
The Bible’s similarities with Egyptian, Greek and Babylonian mythology are too close to be a coincidence. The writers weren’t isolated from other cultures and they didn’t get their ideas by sitting on some mountaintop meditating with God; they borrowed ideas from their neighbor’s creation myths. The technical term is … syncretism. – usbible
Syncretism is the joining and the reconciliation of similar stories or beliefs that are at odds. Some ingredients are kept, some are tossed, some are changed. One major ingredient for the Garden of Eden story was the Sumerian Eden. According to the unnamed author at USbible, it was located in Dilmun, which is modern day Bahrain.
… Eden contained the Tigris and Euphrates rivers associated with Sumeria. The word Eden was derived from an old Babylonian name for Mesopotamia, Gan-Eden, the garden of the Middle East. Because those great two rivers watered the rich plains between them, the word Mesopotamia means between the waters. – usbible
Checking against a scholarly source… Chadwick’s “The Growth of Literature“, a “key work for all scholars and students of comparative literature”, the words, “gan eden” mean garden of delight.
According to this source, Eden was a widespread name in Aramaean lands, and given that the House of Eden (beth eden) means either the Kingdom of Damascus, or the Syrian people, the Garden of Eden was probably a place one of these peoples considered their ancestral home, such as a Syrian kingdom on the upper Euphrates river near Carchemish.
The Sumerian story contains other elements of the later Genesis story as well: the lady of the rib, poison plants in the garden associated with knowledge (knowing in the biblical sense meant sex).
Enki, the Sumerian water-God and God of wisdom, impregnates Ninhursag, his half-sister. Enki desires a son, but receives a daughter. He them impregnates his daughter, who in turn gives him a daughter. Ninhursag decides to put an end to this immoral procession by sowing eight poisonous plants in the garden. Enki eats of all eight plants and becomes deathly ill. One of Enki’s sick organs is the rib. Nin-ti is created to heal Enki. Nin-ti means “she who makes live.” It is approximately what Eve means. Nin-ti can also be translated as “the lady of the rib.” “Ti” means rib and “to make live.”
A weird and twisted yarn, probably passed on both as early pornography and as a morality lesson.
Now you see why the story of the first man coming from dust or earth is not so strange. The earth was a womb. Seeds were planted in the garden, and the earth mother gave birth to plants. Likewise, sperm was called a man’s seed. It did not escape the ancients that this seed, planted in a woman by a man (perhaps even in a garden), resulted in new human life.
When you hear someone say, “We have lost our connection to the earth” this is the deeper historical truth to that saying:
But get this… Adam means “dust” or “earth” in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for earth is “adama” according to free-hebrew.com.
The word “Adam,” as the proper name for the first man can be misleading. It comes from ha-adam in Hebrew, which translates to “the man”—Hebrew has no capital letters. The word adam is extracted from adamah, meaning country, earth, ground, husband, earth, or land. This suggests the context in Genesis 3:19, when God says “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The name represents the material from which he was made. He wasn’t an actual person.
Likewise, “Eve” is translated from the Hebrew chavvaòh, for lifegiver, as in “the mother of all living.” Its root, Chaya, means “serpent” in Aramaic. Eve and serpent are taken to be synonymous. …
I don’t understand why, these three major world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do not recognize that they have a common source, and also refuse to look back any further in history than that common source. If they did look, they would find that their religions all adapted stories from polytheistic bull god worshipers, planet god worshipers, fire god worshipers, and so on.
While I will never convince a zealot from any of the three religions, it is a somewhat testable hypothesis that the stories written down, on the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, resulted from syncretism of Pagan polytheistic myth into monotheism.
Final thought: Neither Adam nor Eve should have belly buttons, as neither were born from a womb.