Eden, History of Paradise

Map included with the Bishops’ Bible, 1571. From A History of Paradise by Pierre Delumeau. University of Illinois Press (2000).

The impulse to locate the Garden of Eden is often sparked by Gen 2:10-14, which gives a geographical description, including concrete names of rivers and lands. Many readers assume Eden is an actual place that can be located. In the 16th century, Protestant theologian John Calvin’s edition of the popular Bishops’ Bible was the first to include a reference map of the Middle East, further encouraging the tradition of placing Eden in what is now Iraq, home of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.


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