Bible Review 11:2, April 1995

How Did Adam & Eve Make a Living?

By Eleanor Ferris BeachFrederic L. Pryor

Is it a coincidence? The opening chapters of Genesis depict situations that parallel modern anthropological theories about the transition from a gathering/hunting society to an agricultural/herding society.

And conversely, recent economic studies may help us interpret Adam and Eve’s role in the Garden of Eden story.

Earlier anthropological theory understood the introduction of agriculture as the result of a major technological breakthrough. More recent studies paint a different picture, however. They propose that agriculture represented merely an intensification of food production.

Most early gathering and hunting societies lived primarily from gathering, not from hunting.1 Time-budget data from modern gathering societies indicate that, under normal circumstances, gathering would not have taken much time.2

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