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Question 12.

Dear Fr Christopher,
It is claimed that the human race was reproduced through incest between Adam and Eve's children. Is that true according to the scriptures?


Answer to Question 12.
Dear Constantine,
There are two schools of thought on the reproduction of the Human race.
First there is the thought that God didn't only create one man and one woman because Adam in Hebrew means mankind.
In Genesis 1:27 it says that God created them male and female. Only in Genesis 2:21 does it mention how God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. It could be that in the first case God is talking in general and in the second the story of Adam and Eve is singled out to tell us how man fell from the grace of God.
The second school of thought, and the one more generally accepted by the Church, is that Cain took as his wife his sister. This may be termed as incest, but that was how God ordained it [that all men should be the offspring off one couple - Adam and Eve]. It was not a sin (unlawful) because God willed that the entire Human race should come from one man and one woman. In should be noted that as yet there was no law forbidding such a thing. The law came after when the earth had been multiplied and even then it allowed marriage between first cousins. To this day it is lawful for Jews and Muslims to marry their first cousins because their religious laws allows them. Our Church on the other hand believed that the human race had multiplied to an extent that their was no need to find a mate so close to the family core and not only forbade first cousins but also second cousins from entering into marriage. This was because such marriages confuse the relationships. If a man marries his first cousin, their children would not only be brother and sister but also second cousins. The manís wife would also be his first cousin, his mother in law would also be his aunt and vice-versa, and his grandparents would also be his wifeís grandparents. With second cousins the lineage goes back to great grandparents who in many cases are still alive. Marriages between third cousins are allowed because now the lineage goes back to great great grandparents who in the majority of families have passed away. There is another reason why marriages between close relatives were forbidden. We see in many of the Jews an illness in their complexion which is a result of inter-marriages. In Cyprus we also have the curse of Thalassemia which again is a result of inter-marriages. We find that in societies where the population is small even marriages of third cousins can cause illnesses in their offspring. In recent years with the compulsory blood tests before marriage, we have almost eradicated this illness from our people. The Jews also have blood tests before marriage for the same reasons.

Something to think about
If we think on the lines of incest then what should we say about Adam and Eve because Eve was taken out of Adam. Eve is Adam. Does that mean that Adam came together with himself?
This then surely makes us all brothers and sisters.