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BIK01 - Biblical Investigations of the Koran
A Ministry Course on Biblical Content in the Koran
STAGE 2 - Biblical PASSAGES and Biblical PERSONALITIES in the Koran
UNIT 08 - INVESTIGATE ADDITIONS: Examples of Non-Biblical Texts on Adam Added in the Koran - Analysis, Explanation and Application
08.2 - ADDITION EXAMPLE 2: Adam's repentance and restitution (Three Koranic verses about Adam added by the Koran)

144 - Non-Biblical Source 2: Did Allah pardon Adam?

There is a similar book to the Latin “The Life of Adam and Eve”, which also describes what Adam and Eve experienced after being expelled from the Garden in Eden. It is in Greek and carries the title “The Apocalypse of Moses”. The first book (entitled The Life of Adam and Eve) is usually abbreviated as the “Vita” (the word “vita” is Latin meaning “life”), while the second one (entitled The Apocalypse of Moses) is abbreviated as the “Apocalypse” (the word “apocalypse” comes from Greek and means “revelation”). Both of these books are translations of the original Hebrew version of this book about Adam and today they are part of what is called the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Non-orthodox Jews wrote the original Hebrew version around 100 AD. The Greek “Apocalypse” contains towards its end (in chapter 37) the following text, which may have influenced the Koran:

QUOTATION: “37:1 While Seth was speaking to his mother (after the death of Adam), an angel sounded the trumpet and the angels who were lying on their face stood up and cried out with a fearful voice, saying, 37:2 ‘Blessed be the glory of the LORD over his works; he has had mercy on Adam, the work of his hands.’ 37:3 When the angels had shouted out these things, one of the six-winged seraphim came and carried Adam off to the lake of Acheron and washed him three times in the presence of God. 37:4 He lay three hours, and so the LORD of all, sitting on his holy throne, stretched out his hands and took Adam and handed him over to the archangel Michael, saying to him, 37:5 ‘Take him up into Paradise, to the third heaven, and leave (him) there until that great and fearful day which I am about to establish for the world.’ 37:6 And the archangel Michael took Adam and brought him away and left him, just as God told him at the pardoning of Adam.” (SOURCE: The Life of Adam and Eve, Apocalypse 37:1-6. Quoted from: James H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Volume 2. Doubleday, London 1985. Pages 289 and 291)

Again, neither Jews nor Christians accepted such texts as divinely inspired or revealed, to become part of their Bible. But non-orthodox Jews, who could have ended up in Arabia may have read and used such texts leading to Muhammad hearing them and taking them up into the Koran in order to attract such Jews to Islam. Maybe this is the reason, why we find these two verses with non-biblical content in the Koran teaching that Allah pardoned Adam:

Sura al-Baqara 2:37-- “Then Adam received from his Lord words, and he (i.e. Allah) repented unto him (i.e. pardoned him). (Truly) he (i.e. Allah) (is) the (thoroughly) repentant (one) (al-tawwaab), the merciful (one).”
And Sura Ta Ha 20:122 -- “Then his Lord elected him (i.e. Adam). So, he (i.e. Allah) repented unto him (i.e. pardoned him) …”

Anyway, Muslims today believe that Adam is in one of the seven heavens and it stands to reason that they were influenced in this belief by the information in the Greek “Apocalypse” version of “The Life of Adam and Eve”. Adam resides in the first heaven according to well acknowledged Muslim Hadith: Bukhari 8:1 (in the book on Salat = Prayer), Muslim 1:259 (in the book on Iman = Faith), and Nasa'i 5:1 (in the book on Salat = Prayer). For Muslims the fact that Adam is in heaven today may be rooted in the Koranic statements that Allah pardoned Adam.

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