Just as Adam and Eve are regarded as central characters in the Christian creation myth, they are equally as important in that of the Gnostics. As mentioned in previous articles, the creation of the world according to Gnostic tradition is an account of the world created not by the True God, but by a false god. As Adam and Eve were created and placed in the Garden of Eden in Genesis, the same has been done in Gnostic scripture.
However, the demiurge is responsible for the placement of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The demiurge has created the fleshly bodies to entrap the spirits of Adam and Eve. Adam is placed under a spell of ignorance and put to sleep by the false god. Eve is placed next to him, and she commands Adam to awaken. When Adam sees Eve, he believes that she is his creator.
The demiurge wanted to keep Adam and Eve ignorant; forever worshipping him. The Gnostics believe that the demiurge was posing as the false god, thus keeping Adam and Eve under his spell of ignorance. As long as Adam and Eve believed that he was the only god, they would worship him forever.
The serpent is regarded as an evil figure in traditional Christian stories, but to the Gnostics, the serpent is the hero! The Gnostic text teaches that as the demiurge tells Adam and Eve that they may help themselves to anything the Garden, they are to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge. As Adam and Eve listen to the serpent, their eyes are opened, and the spell of ignorance is broken forever. Because they chose to listen to the serpent, Adam and Eve no longer worship the demiurge, but recognize that there is the True God, and he was not the creator of the evil, imperfect, material world.
Adam and Eve gave birth to two children, Seth and Norea. The descendents of Seth regard themselves as Sethians, those that have been blessed with the gnosis.