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Adam and Eve

I became a follower of Jesus in the mid-1970s and my first Bible was the Revised Standard Version (RSV). In fact, my first two Bibles were RSVs. When my second RSV was worn out from use I began using other English translations as my main English Bibles: first the NASB, then the NIV 2011, and now the CSB.

I still recall reading Genesis 3 for the first time in the NASB and learning that the man was with the woman while she was being deceived by the serpent (Gen. 3:6). I wondered why this piece of critical information had previously escaped my attention. Now I know why. The RSV simply leaves out, and doesn’t translate, the Hebrew prepositional phrase עמה  (pronounced immah) which means “with her.” The RSV is not the only translation guilty of this omission.

In the Winter 2013 edition of the Journal of Biblical Literature is an article written by Julie Faith Parker entitled, “Blaming Eve Alone: Translation, Omission, and Implications of עמה in Genesis 3:6b”.[1] In this article, Parker examines the grammar of עמה and the inclusion, or exclusion, of the word in the Vulgate and in English translations. Her article addresses an important issue because, as Parker puts it, “Bibles that do not mention that Adam was ‘with her’ facilitate interpretations that excuse the man and condemn the woman.” The following is a summary of Julie Parker’s article. I have used her chapter headings.

I. Eve’s Assumed Guilt

There is a widespread belief that the woman was, and is, solely guilty for the downfall of mankind. Parker demonstrates this with a few quotations from ancient Jewish and early Christian writers and, in footnotes, with quotations from modern scholars who have investigated attitudes towards Eve. One of the quotations Parker gives is from Ben Sirach: “From a woman was sin’s beginning, and because of her, we all die” (Sir 25:24). Another quotation is from Tertullian: “You are the one who opened the door to the Devil. You are the one who first plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree, you are the first who deserted the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not strong enough to attack. All too easily you destroyed the image of God, namely, man” (Cult. fem. 1.1). Parker also quotes 1 Timothy 2:13-14 and adds, “The Christian canonization of such misogynist interpretation has guaranteed its place in exegetical history.” While I have an interpretation of these Bible verses that is not misogynistic,[2] these verses in 1 Timothy have been used by many others to assert that women are morally inferior and more gullible than men.[3]

It is more difficult to put all the blame on the woman, and see her as innately defective, when we understand that the man was there with her while the serpent was speaking and that the man ate the forbidden fruit with her. Some interpretations and readings, however, presume that the man was absent when the deception took place and explicitly state this. These readings include John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, the apocryphal Life of Adam and Eve, and 2 Enoch.

II. The Significance of עמה

In chapter II, Parker writes about the grammar and significance of עמה. But she first points out another important clue from the text which indicates that the man was present when the serpent spoke.

Parker notes that in the Hebrew text of the conversation between the serpent and the woman both speakers consistently use plural verbs that can be translated as: v. 1b: “you [pl.] shall not eat”; v. 2b: “we may eat”; v. 3a: “you [pl.] shall not eat,” and “you [pl.] shall not touch”; v. 3b: “lest you [pl.] die”; v. 4b: “you [pl.] will not die”; v. 5a: “you [pl.] eat”; v. 5b: “you [pl.] will be”).  She adds, “This repeated use of Hebrew plural verbs could create the impression that Adam is beside Eve throughout this scene. In modern English, however, the plurality is lost with the second person pronoun ‘you,’ which obviously can indicate one or more.”

Despite the use of plural verbs, Parker acknowledges that “Adam is never directly mentioned, addressed, consulted, or acknowledged in any way in Genesis 3 until Eve gives him the fruit in v. 6b.” However, she believes that the use of  עמה (“with her”) “resolves any lingering ambiguity about the man being with the woman when she eats.”

Parker refers to several Hebrew grammars and grammarians which comment on עמה in Genesis 3:6. For example, “Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar cites this phrase as an example of a preposition qualifying a noun appositionally and interprets לְאִישָׁהּ עִמָּהּ in Gen 3:6 as ‘her husband who was with her’ (GKC §131t).” There is a consensus among grammarians as to the meaning of the phrase, and “commentators spanning centuries affirm the significance of עמה in Gen 3:6b.” Yet these commentators deny its plain meaning. For example, in his commentary on Genesis, Calvin “finds the text’s translation straightforward and recognizes the significant role of עמה. Nonetheless, he dismisses Adam’s presence as ‘by no means credible’.” 

Parker mentions other commentators who, while agreeing with the meaning of “with her,” suggest that this should be understood differently. They pose the question, “If Adam really was ‘with her’ why didn’t he do something to stop the situation?” These commentators understand that if Adam was with Eve, did nothing to intervene, and ate the fruit at the same time as Eve, then he is equally culpable. Few commentators seem willing to take the text at face value and accept that Adam was present while the serpent was speaking. Parker notes that “commentators who expound on Eve’s solitude and sin are legion.”

Parker makes another important observation in that all ancient manuscripts and translations of Genesis 3:6 include “with her.” Moreover, the Septuagint and the Samaritan traditions pluralise the final verb “and they ate.” This presents a scenario where the couple act together.

III. Translations that do not convey עמה

Parker begins this chapter with, “Jerome’s Latin translation, the Vulgate, dates from the late fourth to the early fifth century C.E. and is the first source to refrain from relaying that Adam was ‘with her.’ Jerome renders Genesis 3:6b as: deditque viro suo qui comedit ‘she gave to her husband who ate.'”

Jerome worked from both the Hebrew and Greek Old Testaments which include “with her,” so his decision to leave it out of his Latin translation appears deliberate. Parker makes some comments here about the observations of Jane Barr on Jerome’s translation, and she includes this quotation from Barr: “… whenever Jerome approached a passage where women were involved his usual objectivity deserted him, and his translation became less precise, and, not infrequently, biased.”[4]

Jerome’s translation of Genesis 3:16b is given as another example of his gender bias. Parker gives the Hebrew, the Greek (LXX), the Old Latin, and Jerome’s version, along with their English translations, of Genesis 3:16b. Instead of “your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” or “your turning will be to your husband . . .”, Jerome has increased the force and scope of this verse with his translation of et sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui, “you will be under the power of men and he will rule over you.” Parker notes, “In addition to altering the story for subsequent commentaries, Jerome’s translation sets a precedent that continues to the present.”

Parker lists fifty English translations of Genesis 3:6b, ranging from Wycliffe’s and Tyndale’s translations to several contemporary translations published this century. The Bibles were a random collection that include those of evangelical, Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic publishers. Parker observes that over one-third of the Bibles on the list do not specify that the man was “with her”. This omission is a problem as scholars and ministers may rely on inadequate translations for their commentaries, preaching and pastoral work, and subsequent translators may be influenced by incorrect translations and perpetuate errors. Conversely, Parker also gives examples of English translations that go beyond the original text in order to emphasise and draw attention to the man’s presence in Genesis 3:6b.

IV Omission of עמה in the RSV and NJPS

In chapter IV, Parker focuses on the translations of Genesis 3:6b in the Revised Standard Version and in the 2000 edition of the Tanakh published by the Jerusalem Publishing Society (NJPS).[5] Both these translations “explicitly aim for formal equivalence translations. As their own writings testify, these biblical scholars seek to adhere closely to the original languages and to correct earlier translations.” Considering their clearly stated aims, the omission of “with her” in Genesis 3:6b is concerning.

The Old Testament in the RSV is primarily translated from the Masoretic Hebrew Text, and it follows and revises the English translation of the Authorised Version (1901). The NJPS Tanakh is translated from the Leningrad Codex of the Hebrew Old Testament, and revises the earlier 1917 edition of the Tanakh known as JPS (as it was published by the Jerusalem Publishing Society.) Both the Masoretic Text and the Leningrad Codex include עמה in Genesis 3:6b, and the Authorised Version includes “with her.”

Parker gives information about the translation teams of the RSV and NJPS in chapter IV, and she provides two images of notes made by the RSV translators during the translation process which indicate that the decision to omit “with her” was deliberate. But I found the following paragraph especially interesting as it shows how עמה is used elsewhere in the Old Testament, and that it is usually translated and included in the RSV and NJPS, Genesis 3:6b being an exception.

Nearly every other time that עמה appears in the Masoretic Text referring to a female character, the translators of the RSV and NJPS convey it in English. The RSV consistently translates עמה as “with her” and the NJPS usually agrees. In Ruth 1:7, the NJPS stresses proximity by rendering עמה as “accompanied by.” In 1 Kings 3:17, both the RSV and NJPS seek to clarify the Hebrew עִמָּהּ, בַּבָּיִת by translating, “while she was in the house.” 1 Kings 17:20 also invites some translational license as מִתְגּוֹרֵר עִמָּהּ becomes “with whom I sojourn” (RSV) and “whose guest I am” (NJPS). Yet in all these verses, עמה is translated into English with some suggestion of togetherness. The only other instance besides Gen 3:6 where either of these translations refrains from conveying עמה in English is the NJPS translation of Exod 18:6b: וְאִשְׁתְּךָ–וּשְׁנֵי בָנֶיהָ, עִמָּהּ “with your wife and her two sons.” Although the NJPS does not translate עמה as “with her,” the idea of accompaniment has already been conveyed by the first “with” of the clause. The NJPS translators appear to find “with her” redundant in Exod 18:6b—and in Gen 3:6b. However, in the latter verse “with her” offers crucial information.”

V. Conclusion

Jerome and the translators of the RSV appear to have omitted “with her” intentionally, other translators may have left it out unintentionally. Either way, there is meaning and clarity in this short phrase that is lost when omitted. The man was indeed “with her” in Genesis 3:6. We are given the woman’s excuse for eating the forbidden fruit: she was deceived (Gen. 3:13). We are not given the man’s excuse, but this in no way justifies that all the blame be placed on the woman alone.

Parker concludes her article with, “Blaming Eve alone brings considerable consequences not only for understanding Genesis 3:6, but also for generating ideas about women. The case of עמה in this verse shows why scholars who translate biblical texts must do so fully and accurately. Translators should beware of imposing androcentric biases and should guard against linguistic choices that skew the text against women.”

Julie Parker’s article is important because it highlights that the woman was not alone during the deception and the eating of the forbidden fruit, and that the man and the woman may well have acted together. It is also important because it exposes a long-running gender bias among Bible translators and commentators who sometimes use their words to adversely increase the force and scope of Bible verses that are then used to suppress and oppress women.

Parker comments that her “academic discourse remains largely beyond the purview of most people who know the story of Adam and Eve.” My hope is that this summary of her important investigation and findings gain a wider audience beyond academia. I strongly recommend this well researched and well-argued article which can be read here.


Thank you to Bob MacDonald who pointed out Julie Parker’s article to me. Bob blogs at Dust. (This post of his relates to Blaming Eve Alone.)

[1] Julie Faith Parker, “Blaming Eve Alone: Translation, Omission, and Implications of עמה in Genesis 3:6b,” Journal of Biblical Literature 132.4 (2013): 729–747.

[2] I suggest that the intent of 1 Timothy 2:13-14 has been misunderstood and misapplied. More on these verses here.

[3] For example, in commenting about 1 Timothy 2:12ff, Donald Guthrie writes, “. . . Paul is concerned primarily with the inadvisability of women teachers, and he may have in mind the greater aptitude of the weaker sex to be led astray.” The Pastoral Epistles, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1957, 1984), 77. This incorrect, low view of the abilities of women continues among too many Christians.  The qualities of discernment and astuteness are not tied to the masculine gender.

[4] Jane Barr, “The Vulgate Genesis and St. Jerome’s Attitude to Women,” in Papers Presented to the Eighth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held at Oxford, 1979 (ed. Elizabeth A. Livingstone; StPatr 17; Oxford: Pergamon, 1982), 269.

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Extract from Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach 1472-1553 (Wikimedia Commons)

Related Articles

Women, Eve and Deception
Teshuqah: The Woman’s “Desire” in Genesis 3:16
Articles on issues relating to Bible Translations, including Gender Bias in the NLT
Articles on issues relating to Gender in Genesis
Misogynist Quotes from Church Fathers and Theologians
The Portrayal of Women in the Bible and the Biblical Inspiration

23 thoughts on “Blaming Eve Alone

  1. You are such a gift to the rest of us, Marg. Thanks for this. I’m filing so many of these away.

  2. Marg, this is a nice, readable summary of the verse and how it’s been handled. Translations are vulnerable to bias, and I can think of several regarding women in the Bible. Thanks for sharing this one.

  3. I remember having the same reaction when discovering that Adam was “with her” – this is so important! Thanks for bringing this research to our attention. I am speechless and saddened by what seems like an obvious intention to obscure the original meaning of the text.

  4. Thanks Bev and Heidi.
    Gail, I have literally wept over translations that disguise the fact that women are included, or that downplay the importance of women, or, as in the case of Gen. 3:6, that seem to place all the negative focus on a woman even though a man is present.

  5. I have to admit that with my concentration on the psalms, I do not usually make comments related to this ancient myth. I do think it is a very important story, however, one that shows us the fracture in which we find ourselves, whether male or female.

    I do not much like the image of ‘the fall’. First ‘fall’ does not occur as a word in the Bible in relation to this story. Secondly, it seems too time-bound – too literal in sequence. I gravitate toward interpreting creation and redemption as birth (a theme in the psalms). So I see with the poet George Herbert (Easter) a kind of literal one day of creation in which we live.

    This ‘day’ is for me anticipated by Gen 2:4 – ‘in the day when the Lord God created the heavens and the earth…’ And is symbolized for me also by the 24 mentions of ‘hour’ in the gospel of John. That first mention of the LORD (YHWH) in Genesis changes the frame for me to the personal from the more distant Elohim.

    I am so glad that someone takes up the exegetical challenges of these texts – thank-you Margaret.

  6. Bob, It is a very important story, yet none of the Hebrew Old Testament writers refer to it again. I have wondered about that. And the only biblical author to mention Eve’s deception, outside of Genesis 3, is Paul: once in reference to both men and women in Corinth being deceived (2 Cor. 11:3-4), and once, I suspect, to correct a Gnostic teaching that was doing the rounds in Ephesus (1 Tim. 2:12-15).

    I’m interested in your concept of time. Another thing I ponder about is the universe, especially time and dimensions (realms) and their coexistence.

  7. While this information is not new to me, I really enjoyed the way you have put it together and presented it. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks Jay. It’s nice to hear from you again.

  9. Marg, I wrote a little post about time in 2012 – here. One could write a book on it of course.

  10. Very interesting, Bob.

  11. I emailed Julie Parker about my summary. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t misrepresenting her work. This is her reply:

    Dear Marg,
    Thank you for sending this to me. I spent a lot of time researching this article and it’s very gratifying to know that people like you find it helpful. I think your summary is accurate and very useful in making the article accessible to those who might not read the whole thing. You’ve done a good job summarizing my points and I appreciate your taking the extra step of running it by me.
    With all good wishes,

  12. I appreciate your thorough study. I am a woman called to be an apostle, but don’t use the title. I am not interested in titles, but callings by God. I have been a missionary in Africa for 14 years and God has used me to instruct pastors, plant churches, taught in two Bible colleges, planted two schools, etc. all of this was done by the leading of the Holy Spirit and my “job” as God put jot was “just obey Me”. God opened the doors as I walked forward. It was only in coming to the states that I encountered such blockages to do the “work among other leaders in the church. It appears you have to be married or a man to be included. The picture that I got was a salmon swimming upstream. Sometimes one gets really weary of seemingly swimming alone with very little encouragement. I really appreciated your article but what will it take to get the men’s attention and the tearing down of strongholds so that women might function in their aged given callings. I have been asked to mentor women that are called into missions and other of the five fold ministry and it is sometimes hard to encourage them when the men stand in opposition. How I long for the day when men are secure enough in who they are that they might take the role of a true gentleman and open the doors for us women. Particularly single women, because they are looked at as “rogue” and not included. Yet this is in direct opposition to what Paul wrote that he desired that we be single, so that we are of single focus and purpose. I have no desire to compete or fight with men. But I do believe there is enough work for all of us to do and we all need prayer and support and encouragement to keep going, especially when there is strong opposition every step of the way. Since we don’t war against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities, shouldn’t we be asking what demonic powers are standing in the way with men trying to keep women silent. Why do you think satan is fighting us so hard? Why is the world headed for destruction and the church ineffective. I believe one of the reasons is because we are being led by the flesh and our own understanding, and not by the Spirit that was poured out on both sons and daughters.

  13. Katie, your comment is so interesting and I agree with almost all of it, except for one point. I do not think that it is men who are standing in the way of women ministers. Many men are big supporters of women in ministry.

    On the other hand, I have seen women who have blocked their sisters from certain ministries through their attitudes and activism. Some women are the ones who are most concerned and most alarmed when they see their fellow sisters getting involved in ministries that they think are for men only.

    You are right when you say that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood — our battle is not against men or women. Our battle is against a devilish ideology that seeks to promote a hierarchy within the church that divides the genders into two distinct ranks, or castes: a priestly male caste and a passive female caste.

    The answer is the Holy Spirit, allowing him to change hearts and minds, and to bring unity and empowerment in the church. I’m praying for this.

  14. When Romans 5:12-19 repeatedly associates Adam with The Fall, yet never mentions Eve, in contrast to the ‘blaming Eve’ group I have wondered “which” Adam Paul meant?

    Did Paul actually mean the “male” Adam or did he mean the Adam of Genesis 5:2
    “And he called their name ‘Adam'”…I have never heard this suggested anywhere, but the fact remains that the name could refer to both of them.

    This understanding would also counteract the doctrine of “Male Headship” because it is based on the belief that “In Adam all die”..and therefore we, all being in Adam the man, are under his headship. If Paul actually meant that we are “in the Genesis 5:2 Adam and Eve” then the first “man” Adam could refer to the first family Adam. NOTE the first man Adam is ‘ANTHROPOS’ NOT ‘ANER’. Anyone have a view regarding this?

  15. Hi Judy,

    This is not my area of expertise, but here are some of my thoughts on this.

    Adam is only mentioned by name in verse 14 of Romans chapter 5, as is Moses. Elsewhere in the passage “Adam” is repeatedly referred to as anthrōpos (human being); more specifically he is referred to as “one human” to contrast and compare with Jesus who is also “one human”.

    Paul uses “Adam” and “Moses” as representatives, or types, possibly even as metonyms, of a certain time and people and “dispensation”. (I rarely use the word dispensation and am not comfortable with it, yet I can see in the pages of Scripture that God accommodated the failings of his people by altering the principles regarding how we may approach him.)

    As “Adam” is a type or symbol, we read too much into Romans 5:14 if we hold Adam solely responsible for sin entering the world. Likewise, we read too much into it if we make Adam into some sort of “federal head”, especially as the point of the text is that Jesus has overturned the failings of “Adam” (and Eve) and superseded the ministry of “Moses”.

    The word “Moses” is sometimes used by Luke as a metonym for the Law (e.g. Luke 16:29, 31; 24:27, 44; Acts 26:22). Similarly, Paul uses the word Law in Romans 5:13,20, but in Romans 5:14 he uses Moses’ name as a symbol of that Law.

    I’m not sure that Paul had a generic ha’adam in mind when he wrote Romans 5:14 but I do think that first human in Genesis 2 may have been a generic, undifferentiated human being. More on this here: https://margmowczko.com/equality-and-gender-issues/human-man-woman-genesis-2/

    Importantly, maleness is nowhere mentioned or highlighted in regard to Adam and Jesus (or Moses) in Romans 5:12-21, rather “Adam” and Jesus are referred to as human beings. Paul uses “Adam” (i.e. one human) as a rhetorical device to make an excellent argument:

    “Therefore just as one human’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one human’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one human’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one human’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19.

    I think it’s a mistake to focus on the one human who sinned and brought death (and formulate a doctrine from one passage – Romans 5:12-21). Paul’s intention is that his readers focus on the one who was obedient and brought life.

    Update: I’ve written about Paul’s use of Adam as a type of Christ in Romans 5 here: https://margmowczko.com/is-adam-solely-responsible-for-the-first-sin/

  16. Hi, I like this part of your article: This omission is a problem as scholars and ministers may rely on inadequate translations for their commentaries, preaching and pastoral work, and subsequent translators may be influenced by incorrect translations and perpetuate errors. Conversely, Parker also gives examples of English translations which go beyond the original text in order to emphasis and draw attention to the man’s presence in Genesis 3:6b……

    I would like to borrow the above to take even further, all the major religions besides Christianity, also Catholics, Mormons, JW’s and Seventh Day Adventists, which was started by a woman E.G. White, all mess up what happened in the garden as saying the woman first brought sin into the world and she died before he did….

    This is not biblical

    Scripture in every bible translation says God made the man and told “commanded the man” not to eat “before” the woman was even made, so if he was not the head, please explain why God did not make them both and tell them both not to eat of the tree?

    Scripture in every bible translation says God uses the “command” word with Adam three times, and never with the woman, meaning simply, God commanded the man only not to eat of it, it is as simple as that. All the major religions tell me that does not mean anything, red flag, why are all the major religions in agreement on this when they all think everyone else is going to hell but them?

    Scripture in every bible translation never used the word “curse” when God talks to the woman, yet man and women believe woman are under “some kind of curse” because of Eve
    All the major religions tell me of this so called “curse”, even “most” woman tell me all the time this and of course every man does, red flag, why are all the major religions in agreement on this when they all think everyone else is going to hell but them?

    God certainly would not unite all the major religions on this, so then has to be Satan, and why? anyone want to guess? 🙂

    Take care, Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin,

      The term Christianity covers a lot of beliefs and practices, some which vary from denomination to denomination, and person to person. I do not know much about the religions you mention, so I won’t comment on them.

      I am not aware of anyone who teaches that Eve died before Adam. Where does it say this in the Bible?

      The serpent and the ground are cursed in Genesis 3:14-15 and Genesis 3:17-19. The man and woman are not cursed by God but are negatively affected by the other curses.

      Just a slight correction. The three command words in Genesis 2 are used in connection with the first human but not “Adam”, as the name “Adam” is not used (clearly) in the Hebrew text of chapter 2.

      The first human was not the same person after a part of him was taken out to be used in making the first womann. An important part of the first woman was a part of the first human, so, in some way, the first woman was a part of the first human. In the Hebrew text, the first “man” is not specifically referred to as a male human (ish) until after the “operation” mentioned in Genesis 2:21-22. Unfortunately the word “man” in English can refer to both a human being in general, or to a specifically male human being. So some of this meaning is lost in English translations. I have more on this here if you are interested.

  17. Amendment:
    Scripture in every bible translation says God made the man and told “commanded the man” not to eat “before” the woman was even made, so if he was not the head, please explain why God did not make them both and tell them both not to eat of the tree?

    All the major religions tell me that does not mean anything if regards to her sinning first and died spiritually before the man, red flag, why are all the major religions in agreement on this when they all think everyone else is going to hell but them?

    1. I’m not exactly sure of your question here, but if the first human was a “head” (by this a guess you mean leader) he would have been the leader of something already present. The first human was the leader of the animals. In fact in Genesis 1:26-28 we are told that both man and woman are God’s image bearers and representatives, and have been charged with ruling the animals.

      Moreover, in Genesis 1-2 no one is told to rule over other people, only the animals.

      You can’t lead something or someone that hasn’t been made.

      The Hebrew text of Genesis 1 and 2 simply doesn’t mention anything like leadership or authority. But it does mention unity and compatibility.

      I believe that the Genesis 2 creation account was designed to show the equality, compatibility and unity of the first man and woman. They both had the same source (the first human being), and shared the same flesh made from the same ground that had been personally enlivened by God’s own breath (Gen. 2:7). Genesis 2 gives further detail regarding the equality of men and women previously stated in Genesis 1:26-28.

      When the male human saw the first female human he noticed their similarities and said: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called woman, for out of man this one was taken” (Genesis 2:23).

      I think the issue of hell is completely unrelated to Genesis 1 and 2, and the first man and woman. In fact the common notion of hell is not even mentioned in the Old Testament, or by the Apostle Paul. And I suspect that when Jesus spoke about gehenna and hell, he used the words differently than some medieval writers and theologians would have us believe.

      “Hell” is scarcely mentioned outside the gospels. See for yourself here.

  18. I appreciate your hard work and contribution. I agree with you that blaming Eve alone is definitely wrong and Adam was with Eve when she ate the forbidden fruit in verse 6b; however, I would like to know based on the passage if you can determine Adam was with Eve all time from the beginning of the temptation or just sometime after the serpent finished talking to Eve.

    1. The biblical narrative in Genesis 2 and 3 is very light on details, and it think it is unwise to fill in the blanks with conjecture. However, once the woman is formed, they are together in every scene of the story:

      ~ the forming of the woman out of man in Genesis 2:22-25;
      ~ their disobedience in Genesis 3:1-7;
      ~ God’s confrontation and pronouncements in Genesis 3:8-19;
      ~ some extra information about both the man and the woman given in Genesis 3:20-21;
      ~ God’s discussion and the expelling of ha’adam as representative of the couple in Genesis 3:22-24;
      ~ Adam and Eve conceiving children in Genesis 4:1 and 25.

  19. Hi Marg, Thank you so much for your teaching. I meditate on Eden and the fall every day! What an amazing puzzle it is to me. Something I read in one of your related posts to this one struck me — Eve’s honesty. Do you think the blame of Eve for sin entering the world would be focused on Eve if she had not been honest about being deceived? Her being deceived was her excuse and I think you said that Adam gave no excuse, yet I wonder if Adam was also honest and if there is an excuse in what he says: the woman you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and I ate. So Adam was heroically sticking by Eve to share in the consequences of her disobedience? Or, never underestimate what a naked woman can get a man to do? Or something else…

    The context in which I’m interested is the Torah’s seeming limited remedy for ignorant/inadvertent sin. Even Paul says he was forgiven because he persecuted the church in ignorance. Jesus on the cross asked Father to forgive because they didn’t know what they were doing. However, the first half of Romans 7 might indicate that indwelling sin was the culprit for not only ignorant (I don’t know what I do) but also unwilling sin (I do what I don’t want).

    All this to ask whether you think it is possible that Eve is an example of ignorant sin and Adam an example of unwilling sin…that perhaps his relationship with Eve overrode his obedience to God’s command? Eve did what she did not know, Adam did what he did not want to do.

    1. Hi Abby, I think both Adam and Eve answered God honestly. They explained what happened truthfully. I can’t see that either Adam or Eve ate the fruit out of ignorance; they both knew it was forbidden. However, it seems only Eve was deceived.

      I think about the Genesis 2-3 story a lot too. It doesn’t answer all our questions and some of it is definitely puzzling. Nevertheless, I have a post here where I tentatively offer what might have been Adam’s excuse or explanation based solely on his answer to God in Genesis 3:12 “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Adam might have been sticking by Eve.

      While some pin the blame on Eve, others think Adam was the guiltier one. But I think the story lays the blame equally. Both Adam and Eve were questioned by God, both were held accountable, and both will suffer with itstsabon.

      I know there are plenty of people who see things differently, but this is what I see in Genesis 3.

      And thank you so much for becoming a sponsor of my work! <3

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