«The Mother of the Living»

Протоиерей Джон Бэр

"Творение Евы", конец 12 века. Музей Клюни, Париж
Источник: Wikimedia Commons

Предыдущая публикация: «Male and Female Made He Them»

In the first chapter of Genesis, then, God announces his project:

to create a human being in his image.

To eventually achieve this, he creates males and females,

the creatures called to grow into the fullness he has in view

a type, or a rough sketch of the one to come, as the Apostle said (Rom 5:14)

and a framework within which that growth can take place,

a context for being “humanized.”


And, as we have seen, this is finally realized in Christ through his death-defeating death,

and subsequently in those who now “use” death, in him,

to the ultimate point of becoming clay in his hands.


Through this death then, we are brought to the second creation account in a profound way, where God takes the earth and fashions it into an anthrōpos,

a living human being—the glory of God.


If we now turn to the second creation account, in the second chapter of Genesis, we can now see new depth in its narrative.

Taken from the side of the man is the woman, who is led to him as his bride, with these words:

“For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and join himself to his wife” (Gen 2:24).

Intriguingly, these words have scarcely, if ever, been practiced in human history:

in most cultures, from the earliest times into modern times, it is the bride who is brought into the husband’s home and family, and bears his name.

Not surprisingly, then, this passage was taken by the Apostle Paul as referring to Christ and the Church:

the Son who leaves his Father’s side in heaven to join his spouse (Eph 5:31–2).


Tertullian develops this insight, saying:

“As Adam was a figure of Christ, Adam’s sleep provided a shadow the death of Christ, who was to sleep a mortal slumber, that from the wound inflicted on his side might be figured the true Mother of the living, the Church.”