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he Bible says that God created man and woman and that he placed them in an ideal location for them: the Garden of Eden. After sinning, Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden forever. So are we to assume that this garden actually exists? That it has an exact location? If so … then where is its location?

The physical place of the Garden of Eden

It is clear from the Bible that the Garden of Eden has an exact location, and it is not just a mythical location. The location is associated with four rivers that are mentioned in the biblical text. These are Euphrates, Tigris (Hiddekel), Pison, and Gihon. The Tigris and Euphrates are two well-known rivers that still flow through Iraq today. In the bible, they are said to have flowed through Assyria, namely today’s Iraq.

A map representing River Tigris and Euphrates (Source: Britannica encyclopedia)

The exact location for Gihon and Pison is unknown. Gihon is associated with the land of Cus, which is located in the northeast of the Persian Gulf. So, having some boundaries, it means that the Garden of Eden is somewhere in Mesopotamia.

Does the Garden of Eden still exist?

If the Garden of Eden is a real place, then should it be found in good condition today, right? Not! This perfect place is presented to us in the bible before sin enters the universe, that is before Adam and Eve fall into sin. The influence of sin was felt in the Garden of Eden, as in any other place on Earth. Since the Gihon and Pison rivers have an unknown location, it means that major geographical changes took place between Adam and Moses.

Due to the fall of man into sin and after the Great Flood, it seems that major changes have taken place. So you can’t really look for the Garden of Eden because the geographical changes that have altered the entire Earth, have also altered the area in question.

Noah’s Ark after the Great Flood (Source: National Geographic)

We should not expect to find archeological evidence related to the Garden of Eden because Scripture did not indicate that Adam built any structure or created any tools while in the garden. It is interesting, however, that the writer of Genesis described the rivers as having a clear location. It clearly indicates that these rivers are known to him. As a result, at least part of Genesis was written before the Great Flood. However, interestingly enough there is some sort of archeological evidence.

There is a theory presented by Archaeologist Jodi Magness who saw a discovery in a church in Jerusalem that led her to believe she has the answer. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the Old City and is believed to be the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and later resurrected — in a place known as “Calvary”, or “Golgotha”.

Magness believes that this is also the place where Adam was buried. The place is somewhere underneath the rock of Golgotha, the rocky outcrop which is believed to be the same location where Jesus was crucified:

“Below is the chapel of Adam and there is a tradition which goes way back in Christianity which connects this spot to Adam — the first man. When Jesus was crucified on top of the rock above us, his blood flowed down through a crack in the rock. And Adam, the first man, lay buried underneath, but when Jesus’ blood flowed onto him, he was resurrected.” (Quote by Jodi Magness)

We could say that the Garden of Eden existed at one time, but it cannot be located today due to the fall of humanity into sin, as well as the Great Flood that altered the Earth. Also, as I mentioned, it does not appear from anywhere in the Bible that there are structures in the Garden. But at the same time, it seems that the fencing of the Garden of Eden by the four rivers was known. Of course, in order for the existence of the Garden to make sense, and implicitly for this article, we must consider that what is said in the Bible is true and not just a legend.

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