Adam and Eve, OT and Marriage

This is a slightly peculiar question, but it came up in conversation with a non-practicing Catholic friend.
We were basically arguing about marriage, and she conceded that it had advantages, societally, and otherwise, but she argued that it wasn’t as though God made it up - it was just something that people naturally did, etc.
She said that Adam and Eve weren’t “married” in the modern sense of the word - they didn’t have a marriage ceremony, with a priest/rabbi, with marriage vows and witnesses etc.
I found it an interesting thought, for some reason…
So, were Adam and Eve “formally” married? What about their descendants? When did “formal” marriage arise?
I touched on this previously and I understand that in the past it was enough for the man and wife two agree to be married to one another to constitute a marriage.
Just looking for some thoughts that I can bring up if we ever debate again.

The Bible is a compilation of different genres of books. Some are like textbooks, others are like historical records, others are first person accounts and just accounts. My understanding (I could be wrong) is that the story of Adam and Eve is more of a fable or fantasy to give us a better understanding of God’s nature and our own nature.

God created them male and female; and that is the basis for marriage. Who’s going to raise the children? Mom and Dad.

1 Like

Genesis 1:24-25 talks about the man and his “wife.”

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

The first part is speaking broadly of marriage but when it says, “and the man and his wife were…” that is clearly referring to Adam and Eve. So this means that to God who inspired Genesis and to Moses who penned Genesis, Adam and Eve were considered to be married whether there was any formal marriage or not.

What is formal marriage? What is important is that God considers a marriage to be a marriage. Formal ceremonies and marriage licenses are practices that man came up with. (Not that they are wrong) Real, God designed marriage, began with Adam and Eve. They should be the model for marriage.

Tell her that after God created woman from the side of the man, God said the man would leave his family and cleave to his wife. They would become one.

That is in Genesis.

God made them for each other and they were pronounced ‘one flesh’, so what more proof does anybody need? it is less about the ceremony and more about the hearts of the couple who enter the married state.

Genesis 2:22 and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

God, Himself, gave the bride away!

> Matthew 19:4-8 He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? … He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

No on formally married in any much later determined modern sense of formalized Matrimony

AND? They were the only two humans on Earth at the time… :smiley:

And yes - they were husband and wife .

REF: Genesis

In many cultures, including our ancient European ancestors, there is no ‘formal’ ceremony as we think of it. The couple simply eat a shared meal together in public (in the view of other people in the village, their extended family, and friends). Simple as that.

That custom, by the way, still survives in modern times as the meal at the reception - the couple eat a meal together in the public view of family and friends.

Something to think about next time you’re at a wedding :slight_smile:

God took it upon himself to be their witness as the shoshbin , just as moses was between God and the israelites . And John the baptist between the divine bridegroom and the people of israel , giving them the nuptial bath too.

When the woman (Eve) saw that the fruit of the tree was good to eat, and that it was pleasing to the eye and tempting to contemplate, she took some and ate it. She also gave her husband (Adam) some and he ate it.

When God brought her to the man, Adam said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called ‘woman’
Genesis 2:22-23.

This is the “marriage ceremony,” a declaration by Adam of commitment to the woman. It probably has served as the basis for many marriage ceremonies.

Adam and Eve didn’t have a Sacrament ( in the modern sense.) So, she’s right … it’s not the quite the same as Christian marriage…

On the other hand, Jesus says “Divorce was not allowed in the beginning (AKA: Genesis)” so, if Adam and Eve weren’t married by God in lieu of “priest”… why would Jesus bring them up when discussing the illegality of divorce, TODAY.

Is marriage only possible where divorce by man is possible ???
I mean, if man made up marriage … well, I mean, prostitutes can become one flesh… but Paul warns us not to marry prostitutes. So, marraige isn’t just becoming one flesh…

1Corinthians 6:16: “Or don’t you know that someone who unites with a prostitute becomes one flesh with her?”

God was there so they had no need of a minister. He made them for marriage.

1 Like

CCC 1623 According to Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the tradition of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses, but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.

Marriage rules came much later So, Marriage in any formal sense does not apply to Adam and Eve

also, in the east, the priest doesn’t just bless, but actually crowns the couple in matrimony. (yes, with literal crowns)

1 Like

The maronite crowns I’ve seen was more like tiaras

Adam and Eve didn’t need to formalize the meaning of their bond together. They didn’t have a need for marriage they are marriage. Without Adam Eve would be utterly alone and visa versa. Besides before the fall they each were a perfect gift of self to the other.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit