Adam & Eve and dogma


Is it a dogma of the Catholic church that eve was created from adam?

sources please.


I believe the answer is no.

If I’m wrong though, I’d like to see sources as well.
goes off to look for sources in the meantime


Dear Pete,

I think Gen. 2: 21-22.
That’s pretty Catholic. I am not sure how that gets interpreted though.


It is not dogma; but it would be called a Church teaching, a doctrine. The part about being formed from a rib does not have to be understood in a literal sense. However, that woman was formed from man - that is Church teaching. Am not sure if it’s considered an infallible teaching - hence, one that could never be contradicted.

Here’s something from “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma”:
According to Gn. 2:21 et seq., the body of the first woman was formed from the body of the first man. Gn. 2:2: “And the Lord God built the rib which He took from Adam into a woman.” This account, which is starkly anthropomorphistic, waas understood by the generality of the Fathers in the literal sense. By individual Fathers and theologians it was allegorically interpreted (The Alexandrians, Cajetan, Lagrange) or explained as a vision (Hummelauer, Hoberg). According to a decision of the Bible Commission the literal historical sense is to be adhered to in regard to the formation of the first woman out of the first man (D 2123). …

Here is the Denzinger 2123 passage referenced above.
Responses of the Biblical Commission, June 30th 1909
Question III: Whether in particular the literal and historical sense can be called into question, wherte it is a matter of facts related in the same chapters, which pertain to the foundations of the Christian religion; for example, among others, the creation of all things…; the formation of the first woman from the first man; …
Reply: In the negative.



Silly me. I actually started a thread about this a while back. :stuck_out_tongue:

The short answer: it’s not a very clear issue, although I wish it was.

I still stand by my original answer. We are not required to believe that Eve was literally created out of Adam’s side. What is important, however, is that we understand the deeper meaning behind what the Scripture means to show us: that Eve was created as an equal to Adam, and not as an inferior or superior companion: the rib comes from the middle of the body, and close to his heart. Just as the blood and water pouring forth from the side of Christ was not literally the birth of the Church, although the Church is still represented there in a very real way through the blood (Eucharist) and water (Baptism).

At the same time, however, we certainly don’t want to rule out the possibility that it could have been literal, since God is omnipotent, and could have done it however He wanted… so I do not have absolute certainty about this; but it’s the most reasonable opinion in my mind.


Here’s the CCC paragraph on the subject:

CCC 360 Because of its common origin the human race forms a unity, for “from one ancestor [God] made all nations to inhabit the whole earth”.

It appears to me that the teaching of the Church is that in some way the seed of Eve’s flesh was taken from Adam - and not from the ground - ie. existing matter - as Adam’s was. (Being a woman, I think that’s lovely and accept it with delight.)


I don’t think it is a dogma but I do think it is a doctrine.


Whats the difference between dogma and doctrine? I assume one has to believe dogma but can reject doctrine.


Catechism of Trent-- Subject is marriage.

*Instituted By God *

The faithful, therefore, are to be taught in the first place that marriage was instituted by God. We read in Genesis that God created them male and female, and blessed them, saying: “Increase and multiply”; and also: "It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself.,’ And a little further on: But for Adam there was not found a helper like himself. Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam; and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and filled up flesh for it. And the Lord God built a rib which he took from Adam. into a woman, and brought her to Adam; and Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man: wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be two in one flesh,” These words, according to the authority of our Lord Himself, as we read in St. Matthew, prove the divine institution. of Matrimony.



The purpose of this paper is to defend a doctrinal thesis which is quite simple, very clear, very classical, but now very unpopular—not to say openly scorned and derided. I will argue that the formation by God of the first woman, Eve, from the side of the sleeping, adult Adam had, by the year 1880, been proposed infallibly by the universal and ordinary Magisterium of the Catholic Church as literally and historically true; so that this must forever remain a doctrine to be held definitively (at least) by all the faithful. I would express the thesis in Latin as follows:
Definitive tenendum est mulierem primam vere et historice formatam esse a Deo e latere primi viri dormientis.


Whats the difference between dogma and doctrine? I assume one has to believe dogma but can reject doctrine.

Nope, not really.

One believes both dogma and doctrine. Doctrine can develop–or be more fully understood–but it does not change to what it was not. Therefore, if it is doctrine, it is not to be rejected.

Dogma might be (imperfectly) understood as fully developed and understood doctrine, set out as necessary for belief. That doesn’t mean doctrine is not necessary, or optional, but because the doctrine is ‘still developing’ it has not reached the crystalline sort of point where one can say, ‘dogmatically’, that this is the entirety of the teaching, and must be believed as such.


Yes, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

See 371.

God bless,


You completely lost me on that one. Quoting scripture within another document… we already know that the Scripture is infallible, so what’s your point? :confused:

First off, that’s not an official Church document; and don’t get me started on the Kolbe center… not now. But second of all, the very fact that they feel the need to lay out this argument is a result of the fact that it’s not a clear case. If it were so simple, then why hasn’t the Vatican said so in modern times, when it obviously needs to be said most of all? Why wasn’t it part of Humani Generis? We are allowed to believe that Adam’s body was created though evolution… but Eve’s body must have been created miraculously? Why? Why hasn’t anyone else, apart from the Kolbe Center, argued for this in modern times? (I’d love to hear your answers…)

That’s no more helpful than just quoting Genesis again. There’s nothing new there.


“modern times”? Exactly when did everyone become modern? Did anyone have knowledge or wisdom or enlightenment pour into their head the moment the calendar changed from the 20th to the 21st Century? The answer is no.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, just ignore it, right? Nothing new? Anything “new” about why God, as Jesus Christ, had to die for all men?

God bless,


You’re not really going to answer my questions, are you? :shrug:

Of course the answer is “no”, and I never said such a thing. Let’s try to keep this discussion on target instead of devolving into straw man fallacies, shall we?

Absolutely not. But you’re not going to find the answer to this question in there, although you’ll find plenty of other doctrines about Adam and Eve, none of which I have issues with.

By “nothing new”, I meant “nothing that’s not already in Scripture”.
The Catechism, in the area referenced above, was doing little more than re-stating the text of Genesis – but since we’re still hung up on how to properly understand the original text in the first place, restating it again isn’t particularly helpful.


It is a doctrine of the church. It is also how the church was born from Christ’s side. Just as Eve was Adams body and bride, so the church is, from Christ’s side, his body and bride.

Peace and God Bless


The article is not an official church document, but it references official church documents. Read it.





You’ll forgive me if I was under the impression that Pentecost was the birthday of the Church?

Please, provide your texts to support this claim. As I’ve said, I would have absolutely problem accepting this teaching if it could be demonstrated to be an infallible Church teaching. If the Church has infallibly decreed this to be a miraculous event, then fine. But I’m arguing that it hasn’t made such a declaration; it may have held this as the common belief throughout most of history, but that doesn’t necessarily make it infallible. I feel like this moving along the same lines as the “geocentrism is infallible since the Church held it to be the correct understanding of Scripture for so long” kind of argument. But please prove me wrong, if I’m wrong.


It’s interesting. It’s a reasonable argument. But then why isn’t the Church saying this now, if it’s so obviously true? And it’s simply the case that not every little thing that the Church has ever held is infallible. Sure, you can find tons of Church documents saying that those who commit suicide go straight to Hell… but the Church then reconsidered that in more modern times (when more was known about the psychology of those who commit suicide), and it then relaxed its understanding of that doctrine a bit, in light of the fact that not all suicide victims are necessarily capable of making fully rational decisions. Is it really unthinkable that a similar thing might be happening now? The Church always taught Eve literally came from Adam’s side – but now it seems to have stopped insisting on that, and at about the same time that it stopped insisting on the literal creation of Adam’s body out of the dust of the earth.

All I’m saying, I guess, is that those articles are really only one side of the argument; and for many reasons, I’m not yet convinced that their conclusion is the only possible solution. But I’m not going to completely rule it out. I just want more/better sources, something more concrete and authoritative, rather than arguments assembled by the Kolbe Center or the Roman Theological Forum, when the Church seems to have stopped insisting on what they claim.

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