March 21, 2004 - Personal Web Site: Peru RPCV Ronald L. Ecker is author of "And Adam Knew Eve"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Peace Corps Peru: The Peace Corps in Peru: March 21, 2004 - Personal Web Site: Peru RPCV Ronald L. Ecker is author of "And Adam Knew Eve"

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Peru RPCV Ronald L. Ecker is author of "And Adam Knew Eve"

Peru RPCV Ronald L. Ecker is author of And Adam Knew Eve

Peru RPCV Ronald L. Ecker is author of "And Adam Knew Eve"


The biblical Hebrews, given God's commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28), had what Drorah O'Donnell Setel has alliteratively called a "preoccupation with procreation." That's why many of the stories and other passages in the Bible involve sex, and why many of these, unheard of in sermons and Sunday school lessons, remain little known among laity.

The purpose of And Adam Knew Eve is to inform as well as hopefully to entertain, by gathering from the biblical text all sexually related stories, concepts, and laws, and presenting them, concisely but with attention to context, in convenient dictionary form. Sexually related material comprises overall such a significant portion of scripture that some knowledge of it is essential both in appreciating the Bible as a whole and in understanding the difference in attitude toward sex to be found between the Old and New Testaments.

It is hoped that And Adam Knew Eve will also help better acquaint the general reader with the problem that biblical interpreters--in particular feminist scholars--face in the sometimes physically abusive treatment of women under the patriarchal system that so controlled women's lives, sexually and otherwise, in the biblical world.

The term "Bible" in this work includes the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, the New Testament of Christianity, and the Apocrypha (books, such as Judith, Susanna, and Tobit, included in the Catholic Bible but not in the Hebrew or Protestant Christian canons). Books from the Pseudepigrapha (literally "falsely inscribed," anonymous Jewish and Christian works, usually self-attributed to worthies such as Enoch--quoted in Jude 14--and Peter) are occasionally cited for the light they may shed on the canonical texts.

In quoting lines or verses of scripture, I have used the King James Version of the Bible for the enduring quality of its language. The only exceptions are my own translation of lines from the Apocrypha and a couple of other lines for clarity. Occasionally a single word or phrase from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) or the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is cited where translation is debated by scholars. For historical dates I have used B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) instead of B.C., and C.E. (Common Era) instead of A.D.

As with most dictionaries, the subject entries in And Adam Knew Eve are arranged alphabetically. At the end of most entries, however, there is an "On to" reference, linking to the title of the entry that comes next chronologically. This is for the benefit of those who may wish to read entries in chronological order. The order so indicated reflects the sequence in which biblical events are supposed to have occurred, irrespective of the order of books in the Bible. The entry on Ezra, for example, is followed by the entry on Judith, as both characters live in post-exilic times, even though the apocryphal Judith is generally considered fictitious. Not included in this order, of course, are the entries on general subjects such as adultery and marriage that have no historical sequence. (The chronological entries begin with "Adam and Eve," and end with "Babylon," from the book of Revelation.)

I wish to express my deep appreciation to Richard H. Hiers, professor of religion at the University of Florida, for graciously taking the time to read this work in its galley form. His comments and suggestions were invaluable in the final editing of the printed edition. I wish also to acknowledge the museums and galleries to whose web sites links are included in this electronic edition, permitting the reader to view art works related to the subjects discussed. Special thanks go to the webmasters at Carol Gerten's Fine Art, the Web Gallery of Art, the Dennis & Phillip Ratner Museum, the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Mark Harden's Artchive, and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Whether you read this book or not, I urge you to bookmark and visit these and other fine-art sites on a regular basis. It's good for the web-surfing soul.

About the Author

Ronald L. Ecker received his B.A. in English at the University of Florida, and served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru. He earned a Master of Library Science degree at Florida State University, and did postgraduate work in biblical studies at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School. He worked for several years as a librarian at Barry University and with the state of Florida. He is now a full-time writer. His other books include the Dictionary of Science and Creationism and The Evolutionary Tales: Rhyme and Reason on Creation/Evolution. His complete modern-English translation (with Eugene J. Crook) of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is a widely adopted text in college and university literature courses.

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