The Garden of Eden may be one of the most important locations in history. Based on the Bible, this is the place where God created the first man Adam and where Adam created the first woman, Eve. Adam was formed from the ground (Gen 2:7). Wordplay between “Adam” and “ground” (adama [h’m’d}a]) is unmistakable. It is important that Adam has identified with humankind rather than any particular nationality. The country from which the dust was taken is not specified. Rabbis believed it came from all over the earth.
Despite the importance of this location, the question that has been raised for centuries is, where is the Garden of Eden exactly located on this planet? 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.
This theory has been known for many centuries, but the problem is that no one has yet been able to define where is the exact location of Pison and Gihon, therefore no one was able to define an assumption for where the Garden of Eden is located. It is presumed that major geographical changes had taken place since biblical times.
Another problem that had been identified is that there were no structures created by Adam, or at least this is what the scriptures mention. The author of Genesis mentions that the Garden of Eden has a very specific location that was easy to notice due to its unique nature.
However, there had been a new theory created from a discovery made in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The theory was 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)
It is believed that Adam had stayed for most of his life in the location of the Garden of Eden, so it could be plausible. The story presented in the Book of Genesis leads historians to believe that the location of the Garden of Eden is somewhere in present Mesopotamia. In early Judaism and the time of Jesus the presence of God dwelled in the temple, and hence why Jerusalem was conceived of as Eden [at that time].
Dr. Magness has a strong belief that the Garden of Eden is located in Jerusalem due to its importance as a sacred place within Christianity as well as due to all the biblical events that had taken place.