As part of our "Bible Questions" series, today we'll look at the question of: did Eve fall alone? Or was it the fall of Adam and Eve?
Note: Not certain I, personally, 100% agree...but thought this was an interesting perspective.
Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, has dedicated her life to understand the Bible and sharing that knowledge with others. I am going to quote her directly out of my respect for her learning…..my paraphrasing would be insult to her concise and well-reasoned arguments. I went back and double-checked the Bible verses myself. She’s right…the Bible specifically states that they WERE together when the serpent spoke to them; God DID create them as equal; and they were BOTH cursed/punished, not just Eve. Anyway, in her own words:
“According to the the account in Genesis 2-3, the woman is created to be a companion corresponding to (not originally subordinate to) the man. Because the two of them eat the forbidden fruit, the man is destined to toil as a farmer in fields of thorns and thistles, and the woman is destined to suffer pain in childbearing. It is in the aftermath of these divine pronouncements that the man names the woman as he had earlier named the animals, thus indicating dominion over her.
Both Jewish tradition and the New Testament offer a very negative view of Eve, presenting her as representative of the alleged weaknesses of women. Paul feared that the Corinthian Christians would be led astray from Christ as Eve was deceived by the serpent (2 Cor 11.2). In 1 Timonthy 2.13-15, Eve’s deception by the serpent and also her creation subsequent to the man are cited as reasons that women must keep silent in church (cf 1 Cor 14.34-35) and hold no authority over men. Early Christian theologians contrasted Eve’s sinfulness with the perfection of the “new Eve,” Mary, the mother of Jesus.
This traditional emphasis on the gullibility of Eve and her tendency toward sin is one possible interpretation of the Genesis narrative itself. Genesis 3 gives no indication why the serpent addressed the woman and even indicates that the man and woman were together when the serpent spoke. It has been suggested that the serpent might have addressed the woman as provider of food or as theological thinker, not as the more gullible of the couple, and that the woman’s addition to the divine prohibition about the fruit (“we may not touch it”) represents not a lie, but a desirable exaggeration meant to make sure that the basic command would not be broken. The man and woman together discover their nakedness, together make fig leaf garments, and together hide from the deity. Both are destined to a life of pain (neither is cursed) because of their actions, and together they are expelled from the garden. Thus, once the reader sets aside the portrait of Eve based on later tradition, the great skill of the Genesis narrator in presenting a character open to diverse interpretation becomes apparent.”
I hope she doesn't mind my using her answer to this question. But I thought this was an interesting take on the question of if it really was the fall of Eve. Or if perhaps Adam was there as well.
• If you have your own Bible questions -or- a different take on how I've answered a question, please let me know!
I'll link back to your site if you have a good answer and/or something to add.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong