The problem with finding the Garden of Eden in real world geography

I think it is clear to me that the Garden of Eden was conceived of as being located in some mystical location at the eastern end of the earth. This description fits well with the notion that Eden is located ‘in the east’, and is where the tree of life, which grants immortality grows, consistent with Mesopotamian descriptions of Dilmun.

But my main reason for holding this view is that this is indeed how early Jewish and Christian works such as 1 Enoch, the Apocalypse of Ezra and the Alexander Romances understood it.

Add to this the Syriac tradition that the Garden of Eden was some sort of cosmic mountain stretching into the heavens, and I think a picture is emerging, namely that the Garden was seen of as being located in some sort of mystical location, which cannot be reconciled with real world geography.

And it makes a beautiful story, let’s not try to rationalise it away.

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All you have to do is look up Dilmun on Wiki and you will find it was in Bahrain, and thus the description of Eden doesn’t match anything about that setting. The Nile and Euphrates don’t go there; it really isn’t in the East, rather it is to the south of Mesopotamia. But since mismatches of a stories details don’t matter much on this forum, who cares about the details anyway. If you say it matches, it must match Eden and the big clue is that it is in the East! (which of course it isn’t but who cares about that?)

edited to note, Bahrain is not on a mountain but who cares about that mismatch either?

In my view the Garden of Eden was an oasis that Adam and Eve made contact with God in. It was a real event but told in a fantasy/mystical manner of the ANE audience would have told it in.

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First of all these books that you mentioned the writer in unknown. So doudbtfull they are Christian. Gnostic maybe. Second we dont really know when the Garden is. Thats it

I would say there is a wide range of believes that are all centered around the word and god in these discussions.

For me science and religion , reality and the supernatural, converges on some apes that evolved far enough that they could be what we consider human and out of those humans two were selected by God and called out ( like he did with several people and groups throughout the stories in bible) to be his chosen ones. He lead them to a special place, a garden, and taught them. So I think the garden was real, I even think the fruit of the tree was real, and that among all the reality is the fictional hyperbolic stories. So no I don’t believe it was really necessarily here or there, or that one river turned into 4 and so on. I don’t think the tree was literally even dead center.

It would be like if the story of John Henry was even more hyperbolic. Like if the stories said he was 7 ft and rode a buffalo to work and carried 400lbs of steel on his back and swing 2 hammers driving in two steal pieces at once and came from a island that sunk below the water everyday until he lifted it back up and was building a railroad that wrapped the whole earth. There would be truth about him. The historical person. It would be tied into his real work. But some of it would just be making him into a marvel mutant character.

Doesn’t change how the Epic of Gilgamesh locates Dilmun at the end of the world, beyond the rising place of the sun.

I also never said the Garden of Eden ‘was’ Dilmun, only that it was viewed in similar terms.

Also, the ‘Nile’ is never mentioned in the narrative, and there’s a good chance that the name ‘Cush’ refers to the Kassite people of Iran.

Also, read this:

What? They were clearly talking about the Garden of Eden, that’s all that matters. Also, the Book of Enoch is quoted in the New Testament, and the Alexander Romance is filled with Christian references.

The reason Dilmum was thought to be a Sumerian version of Eden is because of the paradox that the island, surrounded by salt water, had wells and springs that produced fresh water!

The popular notion was that the island was directly over the Apsu/Abzu!

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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