I’m just reading for the first time, that masterpiece of James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. In Section III, I recently came upon this curious version of the Garden of Eden story. This is a preacher speaking to our young hero Stephen Dedalus, among others:
“Adam and Eve, my dear boys, were, as you know, our first parents and you will remember that they were created by God in order that the seats in heaven left vacant by the fall of Lucifer and his rebellious angel might be filled again.”
“Alas, my dear little boys, they [Adam and Eve] too fell. The devil, once a shining angel, a son of the morning, now a foul fiend, came in the shape of a serpent, the subtlest of all the beasts of the field. He envied them. He, the fallen great one, could not bear to think that man, a being of clay, should possess the inheritance which he by his sin had forfeited for ever.”
And, after Adam and Eve ate the apple and were expelled from Eden,
“He [God] took pity on our poor degraded parents [Adam and Eve] and promised that in the fulness of time He would send down from heaven One who would redeem them, make them once more children of God and heirs to the kingdom of heaven: and that One, that Redeemer of fallen man, was to be God’s only begotten Son, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Eternal Word.”
Has anyone else seen this version of the Genesis story … where Adam and Eve are created as replacements for Lucifer and his rebellious angel? And where this same Lucifer — envious that his inheritance should be taken over by humans — appears to Eve in the form of the serpent? And where God promises the expelled Adam and Eve that humankind would eventually be redeemed by Jesus Christ?