The Uncertainty Over Adam and Eve's Skin Colors

Political correctness has infested all aspects of society, and the Bible is no stranger to controversy. As Judi McLeod's recent article at the Canada Free Press highlights, even the U.S. Defense Department -- which is now likely almost over-run by atheists and those of the non-Judeo-Christian faiths -- is taking full aim at the Scriptures -- deeming them sexist.

But even within the Christian community there are some problematic inconsistencies in Biblical ethics that need to be collectively resolved.

In the "Racial Discrimination" section of the ESV Study Bible, which is one of the primary biblical resources for evangelical Christians, the scholarly commentary reaches the following conclusions:

"Modern genetic studies show that when a lighter-skin person has a child with a darker-skin person, none of their children will have skin darker than that of the darkest parent. This means that if the heriditary transfer of skin color has operated in the same way from the beginning of human history, then the genetic variety in skin color (which is a very tiny difference from the standpoint of human genetics) must have existed from the very beginning. This suggests that Adam and Eve's children (see Gen. 5:4) would have likely had different skin colors, and that Adam and Even would have likely had different skin colors as well."

As this commentary reads, it is unequivocal in claiming that all of the children from a couple will have skin colors lighter than the darkest parent's skin color. Tracing this reasoning back to Adam and Eve, it would then suggest that either Adam or Eve had a skin color darker than the darkest human skin color that current exists anywhere on the planet.

Of course, the most prominent historical imagery of Adam and Eve shows them as both fair-skinned. Thus, we have an inconsistency between many centuries of great art and more recent biblical commentary that simply cannot be ignored.

Other Christian commentaries take a very different view of Adam and Eve's skin color. For example, an article by Apologetics Press on "The Origin of Races" undertakes a more detailed discussion of the issue, utilizing the concepts of dominant and recessive genes to conclude the following:

"The real question is this: Is there a mechanism by which the racial characteristics which we see today could have originated with one human couple -- in the short, few thousand year or so history of the Earth?

The answer is a resounding yes! If Adam and Eve had been 'heterozygous' (AaBb; two dominant, two recessive genes), they would have been middle-brown in color. And, from them -- in one generation -- racial differences could have occurred quite easily."

Three different sources, and three different conclusions. The great works of Christian art -- including Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel itself -- show Adam and Eve as both light-skinned. On the other hand, written commentaries from well-respected sources of biblical scholarship give the options of either one of Adam or Eve being of very dark skin, or alternatively, of both being "middle-brown" in color.

Within the context of the current war on the Judeo-Christian faith, the discussion is far from esoteric, necessitating a consistent interpretation within the community.

Political correctness has infested all aspects of society, and the Bible is no stranger to controversy. As Judi McLeod's recent article at the Canada Free Press highlights, even the U.S. Defense Department -- which is now likely almost over-run by atheists and those of the non-Judeo-Christian faiths -- is taking full aim at the Scriptures -- deeming them sexist.

But even within the Christian community there are some problematic inconsistencies in Biblical ethics that need to be collectively resolved.

In the "Racial Discrimination" section of the ESV Study Bible, which is one of the primary biblical resources for evangelical Christians, the scholarly commentary reaches the following conclusions:

"Modern genetic studies show that when a lighter-skin person has a child with a darker-skin person, none of their children will have skin darker than that of the darkest parent. This means that if the heriditary transfer of skin color has operated in the same way from the beginning of human history, then the genetic variety in skin color (which is a very tiny difference from the standpoint of human genetics) must have existed from the very beginning. This suggests that Adam and Eve's children (see Gen. 5:4) would have likely had different skin colors, and that Adam and Even would have likely had different skin colors as well."

As this commentary reads, it is unequivocal in claiming that all of the children from a couple will have skin colors lighter than the darkest parent's skin color. Tracing this reasoning back to Adam and Eve, it would then suggest that either Adam or Eve had a skin color darker than the darkest human skin color that current exists anywhere on the planet.

Of course, the most prominent historical imagery of Adam and Eve shows them as both fair-skinned. Thus, we have an inconsistency between many centuries of great art and more recent biblical commentary that simply cannot be ignored.

Other Christian commentaries take a very different view of Adam and Eve's skin color. For example, an article by Apologetics Press on "The Origin of Races" undertakes a more detailed discussion of the issue, utilizing the concepts of dominant and recessive genes to conclude the following:

"The real question is this: Is there a mechanism by which the racial characteristics which we see today could have originated with one human couple -- in the short, few thousand year or so history of the Earth?

The answer is a resounding yes! If Adam and Eve had been 'heterozygous' (AaBb; two dominant, two recessive genes), they would have been middle-brown in color. And, from them -- in one generation -- racial differences could have occurred quite easily."

Three different sources, and three different conclusions. The great works of Christian art -- including Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel itself -- show Adam and Eve as both light-skinned. On the other hand, written commentaries from well-respected sources of biblical scholarship give the options of either one of Adam or Eve being of very dark skin, or alternatively, of both being "middle-brown" in color.

Within the context of the current war on the Judeo-Christian faith, the discussion is far from esoteric, necessitating a consistent interpretation within the community.