THE FORGOTTEN BOOKS OF EDEN
In 1995, the text was extracted from a copy of The Forgotten Books of Eden and converted to electronic form by Dennis Hawkins.
By WILLIAM N. GUTHRIE, D.D.
Rector of St. Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie.
AN American Indian's Song is his very own. No other man can sing it without
his explicit permission. It is impregnate with his aura. It is not in our sense,
however, property. It is believed to invest magically the singer with the mood
whence it proceeded, and must, therefore, merge in some way the performer's
identity with that of the originator's. To sing another's song is an invasion
of his personality, a sort of spiritual piracy involving sacrilege.
When last year in Arcady and Andritzena, I induced primitive shepherds to
sing and play for me lustily all sorts of occasional songs and rituals, they
refused to do a burial chant, most positively. For to perform one would surely
cause a death in the house.
A little reflection on these two paragraphs may perhaps, make the reader
realize that authorship was once a thing of great hazards. If one had something
great and new to say, and wanted it to circulate widely, one would naturally
Indeed, by the Hebrews a story was popularly presumed to have its hero for
its author. Moses wrote the account of his own death. Deuteronomy was of course,
his own work, although obviously intended to alter the traditional religion.
Jonah wrote the little novel about himself. David was the author of the Psalms
because reported to have instituted the first temple choir, and as a lad to
have played the harp soothing the nerves of King Saul. When an author for the
book of Job was wanted, though the whole discussion of the work proves it was
written to refute the Wisdom literature which by tradition began with the Proverbs
of Solomon, Moses was chosen as a suitable author!
So for centuries among the Jews, writers sought to shelter themselves behind
the names of the great dead. In this they were guilty of no fraud. They imagined
what Solomon or Enoch would say, or sing, upon a particular theme under given
circumstances. It was not really they themselves, but their Solomon, their Enoch,
Solomon or Enoch in them, who uttered the new prophesies or temple praises.
Thus arose that body of literature, called by modern scholars, "Pseudepigrapha,"
that is, writings erroneously, unhistorically, and yet sincerely, ascribed to
heroic figures summed from the vasty deep by a self-denying imagination, eager
to alter man's belief and custom, to interpret his hope and sorrow, without
personal gain or fame, and also, may one add, without the deterrent of persecution
to arrest free utterance!
Now it is a foolish modern prejudice against an ancient piece of literature
that its author veiled his person in this fashion. The only question is: Was
the writing of inherent value? Did it exercise influence?
It is not too much to say that no modern can intelligently understand the
New Testament, unless he is acquainted with the so-called "Apocrypha," and with
the "Pseudepigrapha" as well. The very words of Jesus were in many instances,
suggested by sayings current in his day, more or less as unconscious quotations
from the Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs.
The figure of the Messiah which Jesus adapted to his creative purpose, cannot
be imagined by a modern without a perusal of the book of Enoch which is its
classic and most entrancing glorification. Without the Odes and Songs of Solomon
the atmosphere breathed by the earliest church cannot be divined.
Hitherto access to this literature has been confined to technical scholars.
Its assembly would require special information and considerable expenditure.
With this enterprise of the Alpha House, Inc., it becomes democratic property.
We shall have a more intelligent clergy and laity, when this volume has taken
its place in every library, and is familiarly brought into every discussion
of the historic Christ and of His times.
TODAY the medley of outward life has made a perplexity of inward life. We
moderns have ruffled our old incertitude's to an absurd point--incertitude's
that are older than theology.
Not without justification have priests mounted altars for generations and
cried, "Oh my soul, why dost thou trouble me?"
We are active, restless both in body and mind. Curiosity has replaced blind
faith. We go groping, peering, searching, scornful of dogmas, back, further
back to sources. And just as the physicist thrills at the universes he discovers
as he works inward in the quest of his electrons, so the average man exults
in his apprehension of fundamentals of psychology. New cults spring up, attesting
to the Truth--as theysee it--countless fleets of Theism, Buchmanism,
Theosophy, Bahai'ism, etc., sail under brightly colored flags; and Atheism is
flaunting itself on the horizon.
Almost the passengers have turned pilots. Everyman is thinking for himself.
The findings here--in this strange volume--bring the reader into a large
inland sea, cut off from the traffic and the tempest that have sprung up in
the West; and untouched by the crosscurrents of dogmas and presumptions that
have cluttered historic centuries. Here is virgin water that gushes, troubled
by abysmal forces only, out of the very earth itself.
Whence are these writings--these emotions--these profound pages of wisdom?
You might as well inquire, whence is human nature? The fact is--they are.
It isn't as though you can compare this literature with any other, as you might
compare the French Romanticists with the Russian school. If you do so, this
man may say it is too fantastic; that man, it is too coarse; the other man,
it is too "out of date"! And they straightway lose all sight of the fact that
it is simply fundamental.
To be sure scholars will argue, and inquire. They would find the exact history;
the shape of this or that Greek stem; they would set the opinion of this erudite
authority against the opinion of that. It is right that they, as scholars, should
do so. It is right that the average man who is not a scholar should also do
so-if he wants to; and should not have to do so, if he does not want to.
It is, however, only just to pay a tribute to scholarship which has preceded
and made possible this book. The publishers are indispensably indebted to The Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphaedited by R. H. Charles, D. Litt., D. D.;
The Odes and Psalms of Solomonby Dr. Rendel Harris; The Book of Adam
and Eveby the Rev. S. C. Malan, D. D., published in England in 1882.
* * *
It is appropriate to leave this book in your hands with the invocation of
San Peladan, which Conrad has translated for us. San Pelandan believed in astrology,
spirits of the air, elves, nymphs and everything that is deliciously fantastic.
However, he did say:
"O Nature, indulgent Mother, forgive! Open your arms to the son, prodigal
"I have attempted to tear asunder the veil you have hung to conceal from
us the pain of life, and I have been wounded by the mystery. . . . dipus, half
way to finding the word of the enigma, young Faust, regretting already the simple
life, the life of the heart, I come back to you repentant, reconciled, O gentle
Adam and Eve; Solomon; Pharaoh; Aristeas; Ahikar; and the Twelve Intellectual
Giants--we come back to you.
R. H. P. JR.
New York, August I, 1927.
PRESENT day controversy that rages around the authenticity of the Scriptures
and how human life began on this planet must pause to consider the Adam and
Eve story. Where does it come from? What does it mean?
The familiar version in Genesis is not the source of this fundamental legend,
it is not a spontaneous, Heaven-born account that sprang into place in the Old
Testament. It is simply a version, unexcelled perhaps, but a version of a myth
or belief or account handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation
of mankind-through the incoherent, unrecorded ages of man it came--like an inextinguishable
ray of light that ties the time when human life began, with the time when the
human mind could express itself and the human hand could write.
This is the most ancient story in the world--it has survived because it embodies
the basic fact of human life. A fact that has not changed one iota; amid all
the superficial changes of civilization's vivid array, this fact remains: the
conflict of Good and Evil; the fight between Man and the Devil; the eternal
struggle of human nature against sin,
That the Adam and Eve story pervaded the thoughts of ancient writers is seen
in the large number of versions that exist, or whose existence may be traced,
through the writings of Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Abyssinians, Hebrews, and
other ancient peoples. As a lawyer might say who examines so much apparently
unrelated evidence--there must be somethingback of it.
The version which we give here is the work of unknown Egyptians (the lack
of historical allusion makes it impossible to date the writing). Parts of this
version are found in the Talmud, the Koran, and elsewhere, showing what a vital
re it played in the original literature of human wisdom. The Egyptian author
first wrote in Arabic (which may be taken as the original manuscript) and that
found its way farther south and was translated into Ethiopic. For the present
English translation we are indebted to Dr. S. C. Malan, Vicar of Broadwindsor,
who worked from the Ethiopic edition edited by Dr. E. Trumpp, Professor at the
University of Munich. Dr. Trumpp had the advantage of the Arabic original, which
makes our bridge over the gap of many centuries a direct one.
The reading of these books is an adventure. You will find the mind of man
fed by the passions, hopes, fears of new and strange earthly existence rioting,
unrestrained, in the zest of self-expression. You roam in the realms of mythology
where swiftly the aspects of nature assume manifold personalities, and the amorphous
instinct of sin takes on the grotesqueries of a visible devil.
From such imaginative surroundings you find yourself suddenly staring at
commonplace unvarnished events of family life--and such a family as "the first
earthly family" was! They had all the troubles, all the petty disagreements,
and the taking sides with one another, and the bother moving, and "staying with
the baby," that in the total mark family life to-day. You will see it when you
peep beneath the overlaying glamour of tradition.
One critic has said of this writing:
"This is we believe, the greatest literary discovery that the world has known.
Its effect upon contemporary thought in molding the judgment of the future generations
is of incalculable value.
"The treasures of Tut-ank-Amen'sTomb were no more precious to the
Egyptologist than are these literary treasures to the world of scholarship."
But we prefer to let the reader make his own exploration and form his own
opinion. The writing is arresting enough to inspire very original thoughts concerning
In general, this account begins where the Genesis story of Adam and Eve leaves
off. Thus the two can not well be compared; here we have a new chapter--a sort
of sequel to the other. Here is the story of the twin sisters of Cain and Abel,
and it is notable that here the blame for the first murder is placed squarely
at the door of a difference over Woman.
The plan of these books is as follows:--
The careers of Adam and Eve, from the day they left Eden; their dwelling
in the Cave of Treasures; their trials and temptations; Satan's manifold apparitions
to them. The birth of Cain, of Abel, and of their twin sisters; Cain's love
for his own twin sister, Luluwa, whom Adam and Eve wished to join to Abel; the
details of Cain's murder of his brother; and Adam's sorrow and death.
The history of the patriarchs who lived before the Flood; the dwelling of
the children of Seth on the Holy Mountain--Mount Hermon--until they were lured
by Henun and by the daughters of Cain, to come' down from the mountain. Cain's
death, when slain by Lamech the blind; and the lives of other patriarchs until
the birth of Noah.
The First Book of Adam and Eve
The Second Book of Adam and Eve
The Secrets of Enoch
The Psalms of Solomon
The Odes of Solomon
The Letter of Aristeas
The Fourth Book of Maccabees
The Story of Ahikar
The Testament of Reuben
The Testament of Simeon
The Testament of Levi
The Testament of Judah
The Testament of Issachar
The Testament of Zebulun
The Testament of Dan
The Testament of Naphtali
The Testament of Gad
The Testament of Asher
The Testament of Joseph
The Testament of Benjamin
The First Book of Adam and Eve details the life and
times of Adam and Eve after they were expelled from the garden to the time that
Cain kills his brother Abel.
It tells of Adam and Eve's first dwelling - the Cave
of Treasures; their trials and temptations; Satan's many apparitions to them;
the birth of Cain, Abel, and their twin sisters; and Cain's love for his beautiful
twin sister, Luluwa, whom Adam and Eve wished to join to Abel.
This book is considered by many scholars to be part
of the "Pseudepigrapha" books.
The "Pseudepigrapha" is a collection of historical
biblical works that are considered to be fiction. Because of that stigma, this
book was not included in the compilation of the Holy Bible. This book is a written
history of what happened in the days of Adam and Eve after they were cast out
of the garden. Although considered to be Pseudepigrapha by some, it carries
significant meaning and insight into events of that time. It is doubtful that
these writings could have survived all the many centuries if there were no substance
This book is simply a version of an account handed
down by word of mouth, from generation to generation, linking the time that
the first human life was created to the time when somebody finally decided to
write it down. This particular version is the work of unknown Egyptians.
The lack of historical allusion makes it difficult
to precisely date the writing, however, using other Pseudepigrapha works as
a reference, it was probably written a few hundred years before the birth of
Christ. Parts of this version are found in the Jewish Talmud, and the Islamic
Koran, showing what a vital role it played in the original literature of human
wisdom. The Egyptian author wrote in Arabic, but later translations were found
written in Ethiopic.
The present English translation was translated in the
late 1800's by Dr. S. C. Malan and Dr. E. Trumpp.
They translated into King James English from both the
Arabic version and the Ethiopic version which was then published in The Forgotten
Books of Eden in 1927 by The World Publishing Company.
In 1995, the text was extracted from a copy of The
Forgotten Books of Eden and converted to electronic form by Dennis Hawkins.
It was then translated into more modern English by
simply exchanging 'Thou' s for 'You's, 'Art's for 'Are's, and so forth. The
text was then carefully re-read to ensure its integrity.
The crystal sea, God commands Adam, expelled from Eden,
to live in the Cave of Treasures.
Adam and Eve faint when they leave the Garden. God
sends His Word to encourage them.
Concerning the promise of the great five and a half
Adam mourns over the changed conditions. Adam and Eve
enter the Cave of Treasures.
Eve makes a noble and emotional intercession, taking
the blame on herself.
God's reprimand to Adam and Eve in which he points
out how and why they sinned.
The beasts are appeased.
The "Bright Nature" of man is taken away.
Water from the Tree of Life, Adam and Eve near drowning.
Their bodies need water after they leave the garden.
A recollection of the glorious days in the Garden.
How darkness came between Adam and Eve.
The fall of Adam. Why night and day were created.
The earliest prophesy of the coming of Christ ?.
Adam and Eve grieve over the suffering of God to save
them from their sins.
The first sunrise, Adam and Eve think it is a fire
coming to burn them.
The Chapter of the Serpent.
The mortal combat with the serpent.
Beasts made subject to Adam.
Adam wishes to protect Eve.
Adam and Eve attempt suicide.
Adam in a gracious mood.
Adam and Eve strengthen themselves and make the first
altar ever built.
A vivid prophecy of the life and death of Christ.
God represented as merciful and loving, The establishing
A beautiful prophecy of eternal life and joy, The fall
The second tempting of Adam and Eve, The devil takes
on the form of a beguiling light.
The Devil pretends to lead Adam and Eve to the water
God tells Adam of the Devil's purpose.
Adam receives the first worldly goods.
They make themselves more comfortable in the Cave of
Treasures on the third day.
Adam and Eve go into the water to pray.
Satan falsely promises the "bright light."
Adam recalls the creation of Eve, He eloquently appeals
for food and drink.
Forty-three days of penance do not redeem one hour
"When 5500 years are fulfilled. . . ."
Adam is cautious -- but too late.
The first Human hunger.
The first Human thirst.
A promise of the Water of Life, The third prophecy
of the coming of Christ.
The Devil attempts arson.
The power of fire over man.
Why Satan didn't fulfil his promises, Description of
"How many times have I delivered you out of his hand
. . ."
The Devil's own Scheming.
Fifth apparition of Satan to Adam and Eve.
The first prophecy of the Resurrection.
Adam and Eve seek to cover their nakedness.
"What is his beauty that you should have followed him?"
Adam and Eve sew the first shirt.
The prophecy of the Western Lands and of the great
Adam and Eve go exploring.
The Conflict between God and Satan.
A chapter of divine comfort.
"Therefore I fell. . . . "
"About sunset on the 53rd day. . ."
Eighth apparition of Satan of Satan to Adam and Eve.
The Devil appears like an old man, He offers "a place
They begin to follow Satan.
Two fruit trees.
The first joy of trees.
Adam and Eve partake of the first earthly food.
Adam and Eve acquire digestive organism Final hope
of returning to the Garden is lost.
Adam does his first day's work.
"Then Satan began to lead astray Adam and Eve. . .
How destruction and trouble is of Satan when he is
the master, Adam and Eve establish the custom of worship.
Twelfth apparition of Satan to Adam and Eve, while
Adam was praying over the offering on the altar; when Satan beat him.
Thirteenth apparition of Satan, to trick Adam into
Adam is troubled by the thought of marrying Eve.
Adam's heart is set on fire, Satan appears as beautiful
The marriage of Adam and Eve.
The birth of Cain and Luluwa, Why they received those
The family revisits the Cave of Treasures, Birth of
Abel and Aklia.
Cain becomes jealous of Abel because of his sisters.
Cain, 15 years old, and Abel 12 years old, grow apart.
Jealousy overcomes Cain, He makes trouble in the family,
How the first murder was planned.
A wicked plan is carried to a tragic conclusion, Cain
is frightened. "Am I my brother's keeper?", The seven punishments, Peace is
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