God took some clay from the ground and made the shape of a man. Then He breathed gently into the shape. The man's eye's opened and he began to live. God called him Adam.
The Lord made a beautiful garden for him to live in. The garden, called Eden, was full of many wonderful things. Beautiful flowers grew everywhere. Birds sang in the trees, streams flowed through the valley and animals roamed across the fields.
God had made the man in His image to keep Him company and look after the world.
God brought all the animals to Adam one at a time to be given their names. "Elephant", he would say, or "Tiger", or "Porcupine".
But God felt sorry for Adam. "None of these animals is really like him," thought God, "he needs someone to share his life. Someone who cares for him and who he can care for."
That night, God took a rib from Adam's side and made a woman. When Adam awoke the following morning, he found a wife, Eve, lying asleep beside him. Adam was so happy. He took her hand and she woke up. She looked up at him and smiled.
God told the man and woman that it was their job to take care of their new home. God blessed them, saying, "All this is for you. Help yourself to anything you like. But never touch the tree in the middle of the Garden. That tree gives knowledge of good and evil. The day you eat its fruit, you will die."
God did not mean that Adam and Eve would drop down dead the moment they ate the fruit from the tree. He meant that in time they would die with out His Spirit dwelling in them.
One day, Adam and Eve were gathering berries for dinner when she heard a silky voice behind her.
"Has God told you that you can eat the fruit from all the trees?" the voice asked softly. Eve turned around to see a snake talking to her.
"God has told us we can eat all the fruit except for what grows on The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil," Eve told the serpent.
"Oh come now, that's silly! I hardly think such a lovely fruit would do you any harm," the serpent lied. "God knows that if you eat from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you'll become just like God, and will be able to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong."
The woman looked at the fruit and thought how tasty it looked. She thought how wonderful it would be to be as wise and powerful as God. She believed the serpent's lie and ate the fruit and also gave some to Adam, who was with her, and he took a bite as well.
She felt a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. She fidgeted and wondered what was wrong with her. Suddenly she realized that she was feeling guilty -- she had disobeyed God and knew she'd done something wrong.
As soon as they ate the fruit a change came over Adam and Eve. They became unhappy and fearful of God.
Adam and Eve heard God calling them. Without thinking, they dived into the bushes, but God knew where they were. When God asked them if they had eaten from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that He had told them not to touch, they blamed each other for their sins.
God was sad that Adam and Eve had disobeyed them. He told them that they had to leave the Garden of Eden, "From now on you'll have to scratch a living from the soil. You'll need to make clothes and grow food. Nothing will come easily -- not even childbirth. And one day, you will die."