The inaugural episode of Minding Scripture explores the figure of the first human, Adam, in the Bible and in the Qur’an. Jewish tradition sees him as the archetypal human being, while in Christianity, his fault assumes cosmic importance and makes him into a forerunner to Christ, who redeems humanity. In the Islamic tradition, Adam is created to be the viceroy over creation and is the precursor to the prophet Muhammad.
In Genesis, a serpent appears in the garden to tempt Adam and Eve. Christian tradition associates the serpent with the devil, God’s adversary. In the Qur’an, the devil refuses to obey a divine command to bow down to Adam and appears in the Garden in the place of the serpent. The devil’s role poses questions on challenging God and on the fallenness of human beings.