1. Ziony Zevit, “Was Eve Made from Adam’s Rib—or His Baculum?BAR 41:05.

2. Andrew Lincoln, “How Babies Were Made in Jesus’ Time,BAR 40:06.

3. Mary Joan Winn Leith, “Back to the Garden,Bible Review 18:02.


1. In his book, What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden? (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 2013), Ziony Zevit brings up the third-millennium Sumerian myth of the creation of Nin-ti, “Lady Rib,” from Enki (the water god) and the fact that “ti” is also the sign for life, so Nin-ti can mean “Lady Life.” I agree with Zevit that this “rib” creation story is just too far distant in time, culture and philology to be relevant. However, I can see that some readers might wonder why it doesn’t come up.

2. For an article that covers a number of these euphemisms, see S.H. Smith, “‘Heel’ and ‘Thigh’: The Concept of Sexuality in the Jacob-Esau Narratives,” Vetus Testamentum 40 (October 1990), pp. 464–473. Modern Hebrew likes euphemisms, too:

3. Termed couvade by anthropologist E.B. Tylor. Wikipedia actually has a useful little entry on this.

4. Nancy Jay, Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion and Paternity (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992).

5. Mieke Bal observed that the creation of woman was like childbirth in “Sexuality, Sin and Sorrow: The Emergence of the Female Character (A Reading of Genesis 1–3),” Poetics Today 6 (1985), pp. 21–42.

6. M.H. Abrams and G.G. Harpham, A Glossary of Literary Terms, 11th ed. (Boston: Wadsworth, 2011).

7. Justin Martyr (second century), Dialogue with Trypho (100.5) wrote, “… Eve, being a virgin and uncorrupt … brought forth disobedience and death. But Mary the Virgin … [gave birth to him] … by whom God destroys both.” See Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex (New York: Vintage, 1983), pp. 59–61. For Mary as the Church personified, see Warner, Alone, p. 18.