Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, also serves as the first book of the Torah or Pentateuch, spoken of by Jesus as the Law of Moses, the specific expression of God's will. The Torah or תּוֹרָﬣ comprises the first five books of Hebrew Scripture (our Old Testament) - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. 1
The book was first called Genesis, ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ, the word for "origin" in the Greek Septuagint translation, as it presented both the origin of the world and mankind, and in particular, the Hebrew people. The book in Hebrew was known by its first word בְּרֵאשִׁית - "in the beginning." 2 Genesis Chapters 1-11 trace the primeval story of creation, and Genesis Chapters 12-50 recount the patriarchal history of Israel. 3
This paper is written in the light of a hermeneutic of faith or through the eyes of faith, as described by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).4 This paper reflects on the literal sense of Genesis 3, and how Genesis 3:15 fits within the context of the primeval story of creation. 5 The New Testament writers and the Fathers of the Church provide the spiritual sense of the passage.6 Genesis 3:15 "establishes the trajectory" of salvation history and achieves fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Hebrew tradition and the Mishnah name Moses - מֹשֶׁה the author of the Torah. This paper supports the belief that the Law (Torah or Pentateuch) was written in the context of one divinely inspired author, Moses, who served as the originator of the text and served as a collector of literary traditions. This belief is suggested here for 3 reasons. First, Moses is recorded in the Torah as writer (Exodus 24:4, 34:27-28, Deuteronomy 31:9) and was named the author of the Law by Jesus and the New Testament writers (John 5:46, Romans 10:5, Second Corinthians 3:15-16, and the following): 7
"When Moses had finished writing out on a scroll the words of the law in their entirety,
he gave the Levites who carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord this order:
Take this scroll of the law and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord, your God,
that there it may be a witness against you."
"We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote,
Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Gospel of John 1:45
Second, Dr. Gary Rendsburg has done extensive research into ancient Hebrew morphology and proposes a unity to both Genesis and the Torah.8 For example, he writes that the presence of the epicene personal pronoun is significant in the dating of the Pentateuch. This use of an epicene personal pronoun - one pronoun for both "he" and "she" - signifies ancient Hebrew and was also seen in original Phoenician and Moabite manuscripts as well. The area of the earliest Israelites was also a time of Hittite and Hurrian penetration, neither language of which distinguished for gender. Rendsburg further concludes that the presence of הוא or Pentateuchal HW', since it appeared 120 times throughout the Pentateuch but not in the Prophets or Writings, indicates that the "Pentateuch is early and that the JEDP theory cannot be correct." 9
Third, there is evidence of ancient literary traditions, both biblical and non-biblical, that could serve as sources for the writings of Moses. For example, the Hebrew word for book - סֵפֶר - sefer - appears as early as Genesis 5:1, indicating a written tradition of the generations of Adam. As observed by Jean Astruc in 1753, Moses first appears in the Torah in the Book of Exodus and, while he was an eyewitness for events from Exodus to Deuteronomy, he probably relied on ancient traditions to write the Book of Genesis. It is certainly possible that one author could account for such an intertwining and variance of the naming of God, either as a literary device as seen in Genesis 3, or as seen in God's appearance to Moses in Exodus. 10
The first 11 Chapters of Genesis portray God retaining dominion and relationship with his creation, in spite of man's sin and disobedience. This is evident from the beginning of the creation narrative, when God creates the universe and mankind. In Chapter 1-2:4 God is called אֱלֹהִים or Elohim, and called Yahweh Elohim - Lord God, beginning at verse 2:4 and throughout Chapters 2 and 3.
God placed our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, with trees of every kind of fruit that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the Garden were the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). But Adam and Eve break their relationship with God by their sin - חַטָּאת - hattat of disobedience in Genesis 3. Their fall leads to punishment and eventual expulsion from the Garden.
Even so, God showed mercy in Genesis 3:15 when he speaks of someone in the future who will "crush the head of the serpent." This is a sign of God's love for his creation; in spite of man's disobedience, he gave mankind hope for the future.
God punished Cain after he killed Abel, and told him "the ground is cursed because of you." But then God mitigated his punishment and afforded Cain protection by placing a mark on him (Genesis 4:8-15). Sin continued to spread to such a point that even the heavenly ones breached the natural order by taking earthly wives (Genesis 6:1-4). God regretted he had made the human race and was going to "blot out" man, but then he found favor with Noah (Genesis 6:6-8). God delivered Noah from the Flood in the ark. Even though men created the Tower of Babel, God blessed the generations of Shem and gave Terah a son named Abram (Genesis 11:26).
Thus, in spite of man's continued sin and disobedience, God stayed true to mankind and continued to show love and mercy to humanity, a recurrent theme in salvation history that was first presented in Genesis 3:15. 11
"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes,
and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate."
The chapter begins with the serpent, who suggests to the woman to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (verses 1-5). The serpent cleverly tells the woman that if she eats the fruit of the forbidden tree, "you will be like God." There is a subtle but significant change in the naming of God by the serpent - he called God simply Elohim and not his proper name, Lord God (Yahweh Elohim). The woman then echoes the serpent by also calling God Elohim in 3:3.
The woman succumbed to the serpent's lie and ate of its fruit and gave the fruit to אָדָם - Adam, the word for both "Adam" and "man" - and he ate.
The narrative structure of Genesis 3 offers insight into the meaning of the text. In his investigation of what happened, the Lord God first questions Adam and then Eve (verses 8-13). God does not question the serpent. But he renders punishment in opposite order - first to the serpent, then to the woman, and then to the man. This sequence parallels the order of appearance in the narrative in Chapter 3. The serpent appears first in the chapter, and is named first in the series of punishments - he is the first to blame, as he was the instigator. The woman is the one who appears second, and the third in appearance is Adam, and he is the last to be punished.
Dr. Sofia Cavalletti comments that there are two interesting if not unique occurrences during the adjudication part of the narrative in Genesis 3:14-19. God directly curses the serpent only; this occurs nowhere else in the Bible. But God only punishes the man and woman. And the gift of mitigation by God for the man and woman occurs during the punishment of the serpent. There is a prophetic sense to the passage in Genesis 3:15, called the Protoevangelium, the first proclamation of the Good News: for, during the punishment of the serpent, God refers to the future, that there will be one "who will crush the head of the serpent." There is hope for the human race! 12
Following the act of disobedience, the Lord God places his punishment upon the serpent in verses 3:14 and 3:15. As the structure of the punishment is in the form of two pronouncements, which are relatively independent of each other, the two verses are considered individually. 13
Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Cursed are you above all the livestock, and all the wild animals and from all the wild creatures;
You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life."
Genesis 3:14 NIV
One cannot help wonder at this point - who is the serpent? The serpent speaks, the only animal that does so in the primeval story of creation.
The serpent "demotes" God by calling him Elohim and not Yahweh Elohim as the narrator. The serpent tempts the woman to be disobedient to the Lord God.
The serpent actually infers that God is a liar - "No, you will not die..." (v 3:4).
The Hebrew scholar Umberto Cassuto makes the important point that not only is it a question of the serpent speaking, it is what the serpent is saying: "the serpent here speaks solely for the purpose of inciting against the will of the Lord God!" Cassuto notes the serpent in the tradition of Israel at the time was a symbol of evil. Since the serpent is opposed to God, and leads astray God's creation, one cannot help deduce that the serpent is or has become an evil force. 14
What is the perception of the serpent in subsequent Biblical writings? One first reads of Satan in First Chronicles 21:1 and in the first two chapters of Job, and of the devil in the Greek Book of Wisdom 2:23. But it is not until the Book of Revelation that the ancient serpent is specifically names the devil and Satan: 15
"And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan,
the deceiver of the whole world - he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him."
The Fathers of the Church further elaborate on this subject. St. Augustine, in his commentary on chapter 3 in The Literal Meaning of Genesis, states "This serpent, however, could be called the wisest of of the beasts not by reason of its irrational soul but rather because of another spirit - that of the Devil - dwelling in it." 16
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
He will crush your head, while you strike at his heel."
This passage is striking! A message of hope is given humanity, for, even though God begins to punish the offenders, he speaks of mankind having offspring - so his blessing on future generations of mankind has not been removed. This is in itself a declaration of mercy.
God informs the serpent he will put enmity between the serpent and the woman. This is reinforced by the second part of the sentence, “between your offspring and hers.” The Hebrew word זֶרַע - zera - is the same for “offspring” and “seed”, accounting for the difference in English translations, but in both cases the word is masculine.
The second sentence begins with the personal pronoun הוא. The word may refer either to the “woman”, or to the "offspring" of the woman. This is often translated in two ways. Both the Latin Vulgate and the Douay-Rheims translations convey this passage as “she will crush your head, while you strike at his heel “... whereas the Revised Standard Version, New American Standard, and the NIV read “he will crush your head...” In view of the epicene personal pronoun (one form to indicate both male and female sex) as described above, both are correct! 17
In summary, Genesis 3:15 has a prophetic nature to it, for there is promise of a redeemer in the future, that one will crush the head of the serpent. God's judgement upon the serpent contains a promise of ultimate victory through the woman by her offspring. This spiritual sense will be revealed throughout Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.
God then sentences the woman (3:16): "“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” God continues with the punishment of Adam (3:17-19): “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The first appearance of the word "bread" - לֶחֶם - lehem - in the Bible occurs here in Genesis 3:19 in the punishment of Adam.
Who is the woman? Adam calls her “woman” - אִשָּׁה - ishah - until he names her Eve - חַוָּה – hawwah - in Genesis 3:20, the "mother of all the living."
God then makes clothes for them, then says, "'Behold the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever,' he sent them forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he was taken" (Genesis 3:22-23). Of interest, two of the words, "hand" יָד - yad, and "know" - יָדַע - yadah, are closely related. 18
St. Matthew, in speaking of Mary being with child, sees fulfillment in Jesus Christ of two Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, that of Isaiah 7:14, that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and Micah 5:2, the Christ would be born in Bethlehem (Matthew 1:23, 2:6).
St. John in his Gospel was the first to implicitly refer to Mary as Eve, the woman of Genesis 3:15. St. John refers to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as woman at the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-5). When Mary informs Jesus that they have no wine, he calls his mother "woman", that his "hour has not yet come." As Jesus was dying on the cross, he called out to his mother, "Woman, behold your son" (John 19:26).
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near,
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!"
And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Father George Montague notes that "woman" was not the customary way for a semitic son to call his mother, so that together in these two scenes, "woman" suggests much deeper symbolism. St. John continues in Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation to refer to the "woman clothed with the sun." One can trace development from the "seed of the woman" and painful birth in Genesis 3:15-16 to the concept of daughter Zion, the "woman in travail" (Micah 4:10) to the Woman in travail in Revelation 12:1-6. He further notes that the word "offspring" in Revelation 12:17 is the same word used in Genesis 3:15 for the "seed" of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent. Montague sees this motif of salvation through the conquest of satan by the woman's son in Revelation 12. 19
St. Paul addressed original sin, and calls Adam "a type of the one to come," referring to Christ in his Letter to the Romans 5:12-14. The word for Adam and man is the same in Hebrew, and Jesus called himself the Son of Man. St. Paul uses similar language to Genesis 3:15 to refer to Christ crushing Satan:
Then the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
St. Paul continues in First Corinthians to emphasize Christ as the New Adam who brings life:
For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also from a human being.
For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.
First Corinthians 15:21-22
Jesus Christ is the one who fulfills the prophecy of a Redeemer in Genesis 3:15, as aptly expressed in the Letter to the Hebrews: 20
Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people.
The Tree of Life is present only in Genesis and Revelation. What awaits the faithful followers of Christ is the New Jerusalem in the Kingdom of God with the Tree of Life. One may see in an overview that the Books of Genesis and Revelation, the first and last books of the Bible, serve as bookends to the whole of salvation history, the triumph of God through his Son Jesus Christ.
St. Justin Martyr (120-165 AD) was the first Church Father to draw an explicit comparison between Eve and Mary: "For Eve, being a virgin and undefiled, conceiving the word that was from the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death; but the Virgin Mary, taking faith and joy, when the Angel told her the good tidings, that the Spirit of the Lord should ... overshadow her, and therefore the Holy One that was born of her was Son of God, answered, "Be it done to me according to Thy word." 21
The concept of Genesis 3:15 being the Proto-evangelium or "First Gospel" is attributed to St. Irenaeus of Lyons (135-202) from his work Against Heresies: "For this end did He put enmity between the serpent and the woman and her seed, they keeping it up mutually: He, the sole of whose foot should be bitten, having power also to tread upon the enemy's head; but the other biting, killing, and impeding the steps of man, until the seed did come appointed to tread down his head, - which was born of Mary, of whom the prophet speaks: 'Thou shalt tread upon the asp and the basilisk; thou shalt trample down the lion and the dragon (Psalm 91:13).'"
- St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 23, Number 7 22
"Christ has therefore, in His work of recapitulation, summed up all things, both waging war against our enemy, and crushing him who had at the beginning led us away captives in Adam, and trampled upon his head, as thou can perceive in Genesis that God said to the serpent, 'And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall be on the watch for thy head, and thou on the watch for his heel.' For from that time, He who should be born of a woman, namely from the Virgin, after the likeness of Adam, was preached as keeping watch for the head of the serpent. This is the seed of which the apostle says in the Letter to the Galatians, 'that the law of works was established until the seed should come to whom the promise was made (Galatians 3:19).' This fact is exhibited in a still clearer light in the same Epistle where he thus speaks: 'But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman (Galatians 4:4).' For indeed the enemy would not have been fairly vanquished, unless it had been a man born of a woman who conquered him. For it was by means of a woman that he got the advantage over man at first, setting himself up as man's opponent. And therefore does the Lord profess Himself to be the Son of man, comprising in Himself that original man out of whom the woman was fashioned, in order that, as our species went down to death through a vanqushed man, so we may ascend to life again through a victorious one; and as through a man death received the palm of victory against us, so again by a man we may receive the palm against death."
- St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, 21, 1 23
St. Jerome (347-420) translated the Hebrew texts while living an ascetic life in Bethlehem and completed his work in 405. St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible was the standard Bible in Western civilization for over 1000 years! He employed the word she for the epicene form in Genesis 3:15. This of course had a profound effect on Marian devotion. St. Jerome captured the meaning at the time through an expression: "Death through Eve, life through Mary." One still sees images today of the Virgin Mary trampling the head of the serpent. 24
In his Decree on the Immaculate Conception, Ineffabilis Deus, published December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared: "These ecclesiastical writers in quoting (Genesis 3:15), by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind - words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race - taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold: That his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the evil one was significantly expressed." 25
In his solemn declaration on the Assumption of Mary, Munificentissimus Deus, published November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII refers Mary the new Eve, and the Proto-evangelium: "We must remember especially that, since the second century, the Virgin Mary has been designated by the holy Fathers as the new Eve, who, although subject to the new Adam, is intimately associated with him in that struggle against the infernal foe which, as foretold in the Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15), would finally result in complete victory over the sin and death which are always mentioned together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 5:12-6:11; First Corinthians 15:21-26, 15:45-57)." 26
The Pontifical Biblical Commission defined the sensus plenior or "fuller sense as a deeper meaning of the text, intended by God but not clearly expressed by the human author." This fuller sense is to be found when an earlier text is given a new meaning by a later biblical author, such as Isaiah 7:14 is given a fuller sense by Matthew 1:23 when referring to the virginal conception of Jesus.27 Gordon Wenham considers Genesis 3:15 a subject for the fuller sense: "While a messianic interpretation may be justified in the light of subsequent revelation, it would perhaps be wrong to suggest that this was the narrator's own understanding." 28
Pope John Paul II, in his 1987 encyclical Redemptoris Mater, reminds us that Mary is the "woman" foreshadowed in that promise made to our first parents after their fall into sin, according to the Book of Genesis (Genesis 3:15) ... The fullness of grace indicates all the supernatural munificence from which Mary benefits by being chosen and destined to being the Mother of Christ." 29
The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs that "Genesis 3:15 is called the Protoevangelium or First Gospel: the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers." 30
Genesis 3:15 is a promise, a message of hope for mankind. God created this world and retains dominion over the world. God will not let the force of evil prevail, but will deliver mankind from its grip.
God punished our first parents for their disobedience, but as a sign of his mercy, preserved his blessing of future generations. The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden is mitigated by the promise and hope of an offspring of the woman.
The primeval story of creation presents God retaining dominion and relationship with his creation in spite of man's disobedience and fall. Ever since Adam and Eve, there has been a struggle between good and evil. Adam and Eve were led to the sin of disobedience, when the serpent achieved victory by leading our first parents astray. But after pronouncing punishment, the Lord God mitigated the sentence by promising an offspring of the woman, a son of man to crush the head of the serpent in Genesis 3:15. God does not give up on his creation!
New Testament Scripture and the Church Fathers saw Jesus Christ as the New Adam, the Son of Man, the offspring of Mary the New Eve. Jesus died on the Cross to fulfill his Father's will, triumph over death, and redeem mankind.
Genesis 3:15 sets the course of salvation history throughout the Bible and finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
1 Andrew Minto. Genesis 1-11: Exegesis and Patristics. Class Lectures and Notes, Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio, 2004.
2 The Hebrew Bible. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Masoretic Text, Fifth Edition. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006.
3 JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2000.
4 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. "Foundations and Approaches of Biblical Exegesis." Origins 17 (February 11, 1988) (35): 593-602.
5 The Second Vatican Council. "Lumen Gentium" and "Dei Verbum," in Vatican Council II, Austin Flannery (ed): (New York: Dominican Publications, Costello Publishing Company, 1996), 416, 750-765.
6 Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Interpretation of the Bible in The Church. (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1993), 82-88.
7 Navarre Revised Standard Version of the The Holy Bible. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts Press, 1999-2005.
8 Gary A Rendsburg. "Ancient Hebrew Morphology," in Kaye AS (ed), Morphologies of Asia and Africa (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2007), 85-105.
9 Gary A Rendsburg. "A New Look at Pentateuchal HW'." Biblica 63 (1982): 351-369.
10 Gary A Rendsburg. The Redaction of Genesis. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1986.
11 Pope John Paul II. "Original Unity of Man and Woman," in Theology of the Body - Human Love in the Divine Plan, (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1997), 32-93.
12 Sofia Cavalletti. The History of the Kingdom of God, Part I: From Creation to Parousia. (Chicago: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Liturgy Training Publications, 2012), 42-60.
13 Allen P. Ross. Introducing Biblical Hebrew. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2001.
14 Umberto Cassuto. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis. (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1978), 138-162.
15 Allen P. Ross. Creation and Blessing: Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1996), 130-151.
16 St. Augustine. The Literal Meaning of Genesis. Book XI, Chapter II. (New York: Ancient Christian Writers, 1982), Vol 42:135-136.
17 Andrew Minto. Genesis 1-11: Exegesis and Patristics, 2005.
18 Menahem Mansoor. Biblical Hebrew - Step by Step, Volume One. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1980, 24th Printing, 2007. Volume Two, Third Edition, 1984, 13th printing, 2002.
19 Father George T. Montague. The Apocalypse. (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publications, 1992), 141-150.
20 Nancy Guthrie. The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis. (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 61-85.
21 St. Justin Martyr. "Dialogue with Trypho", Chapter 100, in Fathers of the Church. New York: Christian Heritage, 1948.
22 Pope John Paul II. Theology of the Body - Human Love in the Divine Plan, (1997), 93, 458-460.
23 Irenaeus of Lyons. Against Heresies - Book III, Chapter 23, 7, in The Apostolic Fathers, Coxe AC (ed). Edinburgh: American Edition of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1885; and Book V, Chapter 21, 1, in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Genesis 1-11, Andrew Louth (ed). (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 90-91.
24 Andrew Minto. Genesis 1-11: Exegesis and Patristics, 2005.
25 Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854, on Welcome to the Catholic Church on CD-ROM, Gervais, Oregon: Harmony Media, 2005. 26 Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, November 1, 1950, on Welcome to the Catholic Church on CD-ROM, Gervais, Oregon: Harmony Media, 2005.
27 Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in The Church, 82-88.
28 Gordon J. Wenham. World Biblical Commentary: Genesis 1-15. (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987), 80-91.
29 Pope John Paul II. God's Yes to Man - The Encyclical Redemptoris Mater. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988.
30 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, (Washington, DC: US Catholic Conference, 2000), Paragraphs 115-119, 410.