Green Thumbs: Garden in The Temple

Peace of Christ, everyone!

I recently had the pleasure of watching The Bible’s Buried Secrets by Dr. Francesca. On one hand it was very informative and interesting, but on the other, I was left scratching my head, particularly at the conclusions of the third episode. For those who haven’t seen it, Dr. Francesca stated, if I remember correctly, that the Garden Story was an adaptation of the earlier “Lucifer” passage, and it’s original intention was not to present an allegory for humankind, rather, it was supposed to represent the failing of a specific king in the First Temple, and the Eve stuff is there to promote sexism. Does any of this make sense to you guys? Did I misunderstand what she was saying?


Never heard of any such thing.


I also have never heard of this.

The garden story, as in genesis 3 , is an adaptation of a earlier
Lucifer story? Lucifer is just a bad translation for venus the morning star which did refer to a man some king, but none of that was before genesis 3.

I don’t know if I’ll ever watch the show but if I do it will won’t be until November.

Genesis is also not sexist. If anything it goes very clearly into mankind ( man and women ) being made in Gods image as equals to help steward the land.

Are you referring to the king mentioned in Ezekiel 28?

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Yep, that’s the one!

To be honest, if I got her view correct, I don’t see much of it at all. The only thing that was really convincing to me was the fact that Ezekiel 28 was before the Genesis story, but even still, it’s hard not to see Adam and Eve as archetypal humans. Another thing she mentioned was that the king could tend to royal gardens in the ANE, which Adam was commanded to do with his wife. Even still, it seemed like conjecture just to get a rise out of the YEC community, yet targeted at all Abrahamic faith followers.

Make no mistake; Dr. Francesca is an intelligent scholar. However, it does seem like she is trying to drum up controversy for the sake of riling people up. For example, while the “Did God Have a Wife” episode was really good, almost everything she deemed to tell a different story about Israel’s past wasn’t that controversial for people that have read The Bible(well, except for her take on Deuteronomy 33, 3). I’ve listened to Dr. Dever, Dr. Hadley, Dr. Friedman, and Dr. Smith on the subject of Asherah and felt happy to have learned something, but after finishing that TBBS episode I just felt dirty. It wasn’t the subject matter that bugged me, it was how the info was presented to me. Dr. Francesca presents the worship of this goddess as some kind of good and empowering thing, admonishing people for focusing on the sexual aspects of this deity and romanticizing a world where there are a divine couple, and that alone has made me suspicious that she is projecting a Post-Modern worldview on the Biblical Text. Am I being unfair?

Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou

“Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou examines how archaeological discoveries are changing the way people interpret stories from the Bible”

  • " The Real Garden of Eden. Can we find the Garden of Eden? Bible scholar Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou thinks so. In the final episode of her series re-examining conventional readings of the Bible, she argues that the Garden of Eden has nothing to do with the origins of humanity, but is rather a story concealing dramatic events about a particular figure in a particular place, two and half thousand years ago.

Marshalling compelling evidence from archaeology, Islam and the Bible text itself, she identifies and visits the exact site of Eden.

It’s a revolutionary theory which challenges some of the most cherished preconceptions about Eden in both Christianity and western culture.

Release date: 23 March 2011"

  • “Marshalling compelling evidence from archaeology, Islam, and the Bible text itself, …” ??? Okey-dokey, …
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I guess I would have to hear her out first. I personally don’t believe it’s anything other than a event that took place after the garden narrative. That it’s about a King and the parallels of that king is being related to the garden story. One thing is that the Jews did not consider it Satan. They don’t believe the snake was Satan. They don’t believe Satan ever fell. I would look up Jewish commentaries on it and see how they fit it into the narrative of the Tanakh. But I definitely see no particular reason at this moment to consider the story of a pre Adam king who did wrong. Since I’ve never heard another mention it I can only take it with a grain of salt until I study it.

I personally don’t believe Satan’s fall occurred until the first century after he tried to kill Jesus through Herod.

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