Were Adam and Eve Jews?

Catholics only, please. :slight_smile:

Did Judaism begin with Adam and Eve or Abraham?

no the covenant with the Hebrews as God’s people began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose sons were the originators of the 12 tribes. The covenant with Moses confirmed the Abrahamic covenant and gave the Law to the Jews. As the history of this people progressed, and they repossessed the promised Land first given to Abraham, under Joshua and the Judges, their sins against the covenant are recorded. After the high point of the Kingdoms of David and Solomon, the suceeding kings went in a downward spiral, until kingdom is divided, the tribes are lost, only Judea (the region around Jerusalem and southern Israel, and the tribe of Judah) remains, hence the origin of the name “Jews” for those who still observed the covenant in Jesus’ day.

Adam and Eve were the ancestors of all human beings, not just Jews, so no they were not Jews. A theory floated around in the Middle Ages that Hebrew was the original human language spoken by Adam and Eve. Dante for example accepted this theory in his youth but strongly rejected it later in life. I don’t know of anyone in the modern world who believes that myth.

Etymologically speaking, I suppose Judaism would begin with Judah, one of the sons of Jacob (Israel).

Really as a religion Judaism developed gradually, even leaving aside the secular archeological account. The Biblical story would start with Abraham, but we don’t really know that much about what Abraham and his immediate descendants believed and practiced. The main body of laws that define Judaism were given, according to the Bible, to Moses many generations later, at the time of the exodus from Egypt.

Some historians, it seems from things I’ve read, will call the religion of the period before the Babylonian Exile “Yahwism” and reserve the word “Judaism” for the religion of post-Exile Judah/Judea. The Rabbinic Judaism that typifies the religion today didn’t fully form until after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, largely dates from the 13th Century AD (with some earlier roots and later developments, of course), though it’s adherents believe it goes back to Moses.

I also should have mentioned the Talmud, an important book of Jewish interpretive traditions and such written in two phases, about 200 AD and about 500 AD.

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