Herein we will be considering the text of The Books Of Adam And Eve / Vita Adae et Evae as translated within The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, R.H. Charles Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913 AD.
Here is some background on the text(s):
“The Life of Adam and Eve, also known, in its Greek version, as the Apocalypse of Moses, is a Jewish pseudepigraphical group of writings…The ancient versions of the Life of Adam and Eve are: the Greek Apocalypse of Moses, the Latin Life of Adam and Eve, the Slavonic Life of Adam and Eve, the Armenian Penitence of Adam, the Georgian Book of Adam, and one or two fragmentary Coptic versions. These texts are usually named as Primary Adam Literature to distinguish them from subsequent related texts, such as the Cave of Treasures that includes what appears to be extracts.
They differ greatly in length and wording, but for the most part are derived from a single source that has not survived…the versions were composed from the early 3rd to the 5th century…There is wide agreement that the original was composed in a Semitic language in the 1st century AD/CE.”
The text begins from “When they were driven out from paradise.” The author plays off of the number seven is referring to them having “spent seven days mourning and lamenting in great grief” and then when they grow hungry, “Adam arose and walked seven days over all that land.”
Eve recommends that Adam murder her, “Wilt thou slay me that I may die, and perchance God the Lord will bring thee into paradise, for on my account hast thou been driven thence.” The Bible actually points to Adam as the cause of the fall and not Eve (see Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21 for examples).
Adam and Even then walk around looking for food for nine days, Adam states that they “used to have angels’ food” (no mention of cake however).
Then, so as to exhibit “penitence” Adam “will spend forty days fasting” and tells Eve:
“go to the river Tigris and lift up a stone and stand on it in the water up to thy neck in the deep of the river. And let no speech proceed out of thy mouth, since we are unworthy to address the Lord, for our lips are unclean from the unlawful and forbidden tree. And do thou stand in the water of the river thirty-seven days. But I will spend forty days in the water of Jordan, perchance the Lord God will take pity upon us…Adam walked to the river Jordan and stood on a stone up to his neck in water.”
Adam speaks to the Jordan river asking it to gather “all swimming (creatures)” around him, that they would mourn with him and they did so and “the water of Jordan stood (still) and its current was stayed.”
After eighteen days “Satan was wroth and transformed himself into the brightness of angels, and went away to the river Tigris to Eve.” He found her weeping and pretended to grieve with her, urging her to get out of the river telling her that the Lord has “accepted your penitence.” Eve gets out and catches a chill and was shaking, “she fell on the earth and the devil raised her up and led her to Adam.”
When Adam sees them, he states, “O Eve, Eve…How hast thou been again ensnared by our adversary, by whose means we have been estranged from our abode in paradise and spiritual joy.” Eve then asks the devil why he is after them, “for thou pursuest us with craft Or why doth thy malice assail us.”
“with a heavy sigh, the devil spake: ‘O Adam! all my hostility, envy, and sorrow is for thee, since it is for thee that I have been expelled from my glory, which I possessed in the heavens in the midst of the angels and for thee was I cast out in the earth…It is for thy sake that I have been hurled from that place. When thou wast formed. I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels. When God blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake: ‘Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness.’”
Herein we get a glimpse of why this story is gone wrong and excluded from the cannon (on of various reasons why); Michael, a faithful and loyal to YVHV archangel, made other angels and satan (who is not a fallen angel but a fallen cherub, see Is lucifer a fallen angel? (contra Jim Brayshaw)) worship Adam. In fact, YHVH Himself supports Michael who went on to say: “‘Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.’ And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: ‘Worship the image of God the Lord.’” So YHVH and His representative Michael are promulgating idolatry; worship of an image bearer of YHVH.
As it turns out, satan replies:
“‘I have no (need) to worship Adam.’ And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I said to him, ‘Why dost thou urge me I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the Creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me.’”
Note the clever subtlety; in this story YHVH and Michael are in the wrong and satan is right in refusing to worship an image of YHVH. Yet, he is made to refuse doing so because he is an elder, of sorts, of Adam’s and then demands that Adam should worship him. Well, in a way, within the story’s own rationale, if satan came worship Adam then why could not Adam worship satan? After all, the story has YHVH stating, “I have made thee [Adam] in our image and likeness” with “our” either meaning the Trinity or YHVH and the angels.
A rebellion ensues:
“When the angels, who were under me [satan], heard this, they refused to worship him. And Michael saith, ‘Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God will be wrath with thee.’ And I said, ‘If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven and will be like the Highest.’”
The last sentence is a reference to Isaiah 14:13 which we cover in the article referenced above.
“And God the Lord was wrath with me and banished me and my angels from our glory; and on thy account were we expelled from our abodes into this world and hurled on the earth…And we were grieved when we saw thee in such joy and luxury [in Eden]. And with guile I cheated thy wife and caused thee to be expelled through her (doing) from thy joy and luxury, as I have been driven out of my glory.”
As good as this story may sound, Adam had no sympathy for the devil:
“When Adam heard the devil say this, he cried out and wept and spake: ‘O Lord my God, my life is in thy hands. Banish this Adversary far from me, who seeketh to destroy my soul, and give me his glory which he himself hath lost.’ And at that moment, the devil vanished before him. But Adam endured in his penance, standing for forty days (on end) in the water of Jordan.”
Eve built a “booth” wherein she proceeded to go into labor having been pregnant three months. Adam finally arrived and:
“behold, there came twelve angels and two ‘virtues’, standing on the right and on the left of Eve; and Michael was standing on the right; and he stroked her on the face as far as to the breast and said to Eve: ‘Blessed art thou, Eve, for Adam’s sake. Since his prayers and intercessions are great, I have been sent that thou mayst receive our help. Rise up now, and prepare thee to bear. And she bore a son and he was shining; and at once the babe rose up and ran and bore a blade of grass in his hands, and gave it to his mother, and his name was called Cain.”
Adam moved the family East and Michael gave him various kinds of seeds and showed him who grow them, etc.
“Eve conceived and bare a son, whose name was Abel; and Cain and Abel used to stay together. And Eve said to Adam: ‘My lord, while I slept, I saw a vision, as it were the blood of our son Abel in the hand of Cain, who was gulping it down in his mouth. Therefore I have sorrow’…thereafter, Cain slew Abel, but Adam was then one hundred and thirty years old, but Abel was slain when he was one hundred and twenty-two years. And thereafter Adam knew his wife and he begat a son and called his name Seth.”
The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve bore Cain, Abel, Seth and then that they “had sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). For whatever reason The Books Of Adam And Eve / Vita Adae et Evae specifies, “after Adam had begotten Seth, he lived eight hundred years and begat thirty sons and thirty daughters; in all sixty-three children.” Certainly, 36 does not amount to many considering that Adam lived 930 years.
Adam relates the preceding events to Seth. Adam makes up with YHVH and “After I had worshipped the Lord, straightway Michael, God's archangel, seized my hand and cast me out of the paradise of ‘vision’ and of God's command. And Michael held a rod in his hand, and he touched the waters, which were round about paradise, and they froze hard.”
Adam tells Seth “the rest of the secrets [and sacraments] that shall be, which were revealed to me, when I had eaten of the tree of the knowledge, and knew and perceived what will come to pass in this age; [what God intends to do to his creation of the race of men.” (brackets in original). Interesting that he shared forbidden knowledge with Seth.
Adam blesses his sons as he is coming to the end of his life. Adam tells them, “I am sick and in pain” and they asked, “What does it mean, father, this illness and pain.” Seth offers to go to paradise, the Garden of Eden, to get the fruit of life but Adam states, “‘No, my son, I do not long (for this), but I feel weakness and great pain in my body.’ Seth answered, ‘What is pain, my lord father I am ignorant; but hide it not from us, but tell us (about it).’”
Adam then relates some non-biblical details about his experiences in the Garden:
“God gave a part of paradise to me and (a part) to your mother: the trees of the eastern part and the north, which is over against Aquilo he gave to me, and to your mother he gave the part of the south and the western part. (Moreover) God the Lord gave us two angels to guard us. The hour came when the angels had ascended to worship in the sight of God; forthwith the adversary [the devil] found an opportunity while the angels were absent and the devil led your mother astray to eat of the unlawful and forbidden tree. And she did eat and gave to me.”
Well, the rest is history, or is it? After all, Seth is unaware of what pain is which denotes that Adam and Eve’s children were not experiencing the byproducts of the fall. Also, in this version, after they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
“immediately, the Lord God was wrath with us, and the Lord said to me: ‘…I will bring upon thy body, seventy blows; with divers griefs, shalt thou be tormented, beginning at thy head and thine eyes and thine ears down to thy nails on thy toes, and in every separate limb. These hath God appointed for chastisement. All these things hath the Lord sent to me and to all our race.’”
Well, apparently not to all our race as Seth and bros were unaware of pain. Also, in the Biblical record YHVH atones for Adam and Eve—indicative of Jesus atoning for those who turn to Him—yet, in this version YHVH chastises Adam with blows.
Adam is then “seized with violent pains” and finally asks Eve to, “Rise up and go with my son Seth to the neighbourhood of paradise” since, “Perchance He will have pity (upon you) and send His angel across to the tree of His mercy, whence floweth the oil of life, and will give you a drop of it, to anoint me with it, that I may have rest from these pains, by which I am being consumed.” Biblically, no tree of mercy is mentioned.
On the way to the hood, “suddenly there came a beast [a serpent] and attacked and bit Seth” (bracket in original). Then:
“Eve said to the serpent in a loud voice: ‘Accursed beast! how (is it that) thou hast not feared to let thyself loose against the image of God, but hast dared to fight with it.’ The beast answered in the language of men: ‘Is it not against you, Eve, that our malice (is directed) Are not ye the objects of our rage Tell me, Eve, how was thy mouth opened to eat of the fruit But now if I shall begin to reprove thee thou canst not bear it.’”
Seth rebukes the serpent and it leaves. Then, “Michael appeared to them and said: ‘…in no wise wilt thou be able to receive thereof [the oil of the tree of mercy] save in the last days’ which via a bracketed statement is said to be “When five thousand five hundred years have been fulfilled” which is when “will come upon earth the most beloved king Christ, the son of God, to revive the body of Adam and with him to revive the bodies of the dead.” He states that when the Son of God is baptized in the Jordan “when He hath come out of the water of Jordan, then He will anoint from the oil of mercy all that believe in Him.”
Michael sends Seth, who was traveling with Eve, back to Adam “bearing with them herbs of fragrance, i.e. nard and crocus and calamus and cinnamon.” They relate the events to Adam who is upset that Seth was bitten. Six days later, Adam died; he had asked to be buried “towards the sunrising in the field of yonder dwelling” and at his death “was the sun darkened and the moon and the stars for seven days.”
A funerary proceeding takes place and an angel name Uriel is instructed, along with Michael, to “bury Adam and Abel his son…in the parts of Paradise.” Then, “Six days after, Adam died; and Eve perceived that she would die” she assembled her offspring and tells them about coming judgments, “first by water, the second time by fire…But hearken unto me, my children. Make ye then tables of stone and others of clay, and write
on them, all my life and your father's (all) that ye have heard and seen from us.”
Eve died whilst “she spread out her hands to heaven in prayer, and bent her knees to the earth, and while she worshipped the Lord and gave him thanks”:
“When they had been mourning four days, (then) Michael the archangel appeared and said to Seth: ‘Man of God, mourn not for thy dead more than six days, for on the seventh day is the sign of the resurrection and the rest of the age to come; on the seventh day the Lord rested from all His works.’”
The last bit of info in the text is that “Seth made the tables.”
Thus, it is not in the Bible for various reasons such as the very, very, very late date and the fact that it has YHVH commanding the worship of images.