Saturday, February 13, 2010

I think Adam was with Eve when the serpent addressed her

I posed a question a few days ago: Was Adam with Eve when she was talking with the serpent? (See post and comments.)

As promised, I consulted my shelf of scholars.

They were not especially helpful. Most don't address the question but seem to assume that Adam was absent. The one who does address the question concludes that he was present.

I still lean in that direction as well, though I think the text is just vague enough to allow either interpretation.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd throw in a few cents in...don't know if it's of any use, but it sounds like more fun than the French subjunctive....

I honestly think the text is probably vague enough to argue either way, but it seems more natural for me to read that Adam was there.

Things to think about that I didn't see in your discussion:
1. What if the first few verses of chapter 3 are a summary of several conversations?
2. If Adam was there, why do we expect him to intervene? He didn't correct Eve's statement (v. 3) that they were not even to touch the fruit.
3. We have no idea what interpersonal communication was like pre-fall. Maybe there wasn't the same sort of discussion that we expect in decision-making.
4. What if there is some "cultural" aspect to the story that we aren't catching? For example, perhaps it was impolite
for him to interfere...? Maybe there wasn't as much individualism (what one did the other was obligated to do)?
5. What if Adam was curious too?

Okay enough babbling...back to the French....

-andrea r.

Kent S said...

Good points, Andrea. Add to this the interesting tidbit that Eve was deceived, but Adam wasn't (1 Tim 2:13). And if Adam was there, and, assuming interpersonal communication and cultural norms were similar to what they are now, it seems Adam was negligent in his duties as a husband, as a protector of the deceived, or however you want to word it.

j.scantlin said...

or maybe Adam misremembered that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" was in Proverbs

michelle said...

Kent,
A large portion of artwork on the subject of Adam and Eve include both individuals at the time the apple was eaten. Just thought that was interesting. I wanted to include a few sites for you to look at, but the web address was way too long...maybe I'll email them to you :)

Philip Gilbert said...

You are having a laugh or you really believe in the literal interpertation of the bible?

Kent S said...

No, Philip, not having a laugh. I do believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

"Tooth decay does not happen when nothing is attacking the tooth," my hygienist told me. The Bible says in Genesis 2:9, "And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." The Bible also teaches that Adam named the animals BEFORE Eve was created. So, there were rivers and gold and flowers and beauty everywhere with no storms or hostility from animals, no threats of things present or from any other creature, including the serpent; because he used deceit on Eve, not force. So eve was new to Adam and special. How many days did it take for Adam to name all the animals? How much of the Garden did Adam check out before the Lord put him to sleep to perform the first surgery? How long did the Lord allow Adam to roam around on his own? How much time elapsed from Eve's Creation to her fall? There were all kinds of attractions in the Garden of Eden. Once Eve was created they were both aware of the facts of life. They had not yet come together... (Compare Matthew 1:25; Psalm 51:5). Christ only was born holy, i.e. immaculately conceived (Luke 1:35). All in "the last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45) are born again (John 3:3, 5)and holy. All in the first Adam are dead (1 Cor. 15:45, 47 with 1 Cor. 15:22) but not so in Christ. Eve may not have become pregnant when the first couple first came together. (We are sure from the Scriptural account here that she was not pregnant when she ate the forbidden fruit, regardless, Psalm 51:5. My point is this. Adam might have been looking at other more wonderful things than the forbidden fruit, obeying the Lord being NOT DECEIVED, when Eve "imbibed," or so to speak. The fall of man might not have been immediate. At least for the couple's first acquaintance it was not. Maybe even some considerable time elapsed between Eve's sin and Adams's before they both died (Acts 5:7).
Teeth don't seek tooth decay: they are static. Adam wasn't seeking sin. Therefore, I don't think we can know, necessarily, and, therefore, presume to dogmatize, upon anything that relates to such an imprecise state of affairs. To assume Adam was CONCENTING to what Eve was doing -- as some do -- when he might not have been aware of it before it happened is a rather hard pill to swallow for any CONCRETE conclusions on hard, fast church doctrine that might be taught from such reading-in-between-the-line passages. But after Eve sinned, she was more likely eager to convert Adam to her frame of mind and heart, and might have more likely sought Adam out for that very purpose (Romans 1:32; Genesis 3:6) in order to get him to sin with her. The carnal nature spreads itself (Romans 1:32). The spiritual nature seems to do more so with the Holy Spirit's work of Evangelism (Acts 21:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 10:24; Matthew 13:33). I cannot believe that when he first learned of Eve's moving into transgression, Adam was in accord with what Eve was trying to do at all (Considering God's nature and Adam's innocent nature, notwithstanding). But its quite clear that Eve was "evangelistic" for her cause (Genesis 3:6; Romans 1:32). And do we expect Adam to be fully knowledgeable of everything that we know today about prayer for others and evangelism and prevention of others sinning (John 16:13; 1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 8:13)? I don't think so at all, considering the revelations of such passages as these. Such information was not even available until the time of Christ. --Ralph

Kent S said...

So, I guess my question is still, what is the significance of the "with her" in Gen 3:6 if Adam was not present at the serpent's interview, giving his consent?

Anonymous said...

Dear Kent, you questioned "with her" in the text. Good question. By the time Adam was "with Eve" in the sin that led them to death (James 1:15), it was too late for reversals (Matthew 5:28 with James 1:15). In effect the thought of foolishness is sin, as is often paraphrased from the text in Matthew 5:28; 15:19; Mark 7:21; Proverbs 27:19. But Satan was quoted in Genesis and elsewhere (John 8:44) as being the deceiver from the beginning. But while Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14) and walked into death with his eyes open, or so to speak, it might seem that Adam at first didn't want her to believe this. Because Adam seemed for a time to live truly in the fear of God and do what God wanted., i.e., name the animals. Again, that took time. And until his surgery for the sake of Eve, Adam's choice was to REMAIN FAITHFUL TO HIS MAKER. So, I believe that once the love of a woman was in the picture, Adam didn't want to be without her regardless of the consequences. Eve was still "evangelistic" by giving Adam the fruit, which he did not pick from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for himself. Still in her deceit, she destroyed her husband by encouraging him to do what she just did. If she had not been deceived, she would have cringed from dragging Adam into the horrific reality of disobedience. Because of God's judgment against Adam, we have every reason to believe that Adam did agree with Eve, not because of her delusion but because of her. That's is clear from the text also (Genesis 3:12). Adam (sooner or later) would have had to have been "with her." The text does seem to indicate that the "with her" part kind of all happened at once. But, if so, when? When did Eve even come close to the tree? Did Adam at first want her not to go? Was Adam aware of the fact that she was even near it? Did she call him over to the tree where she was? When did Adam suddenly not become God-fearing, and dare to walk near ungodliness and death (2 Timothy 2:19, 22; 1 Peter 3:10, 11)? How did Eve persuade him to be with her there? Was she deceived when she approached the tree or after she stood there listening to Satan? Did Satan call her over by herself? Together with Adam? The text merely says, "with her." But when? How? Why? Why did Adam transgress, becoming disobedient to God when Eve wanted him to do it? The implication of the text is "by the tree, with eve, near the serpent." This cannot be denied. And I do not attempt to do so. Neither do I wish to obscure the text by raising so many questions. But on the other side of the proverbial coin, therefore, one could even go so far as to say that ADAM ENCOURAGED EVE IN HER SIN. But that also isn't there either, any more than Adam's supposed consent to Eve's sin -- at least UNTIL we learn from the text that Adam decided to cross the moral line himself. And we are not told when that decision was made by Adam, whether at the tree, before he got there, while he was walking over to it with Eve or by himself to Eve, or what. --Dad

Philip Gilbert said...

ou people are seriously deluded. Go read a book on the Big Bang. That really did happen.

j.scantlin said...

All of the bangs I've witnessed on earth that happened by accident have caused death and chaos, not life and order. Preaching an accidental Big Bang that caused life and order is a religion that requires too much blind faith, especially without any supernatural help to believe such a thing in your heart.

Philip Gilbert said...

You would know all about blind faith. You know nothing about how scientific theory works.

Your mind is closed. It's the only way you aew able to maintain your belief in your invisible magic friend.

j.scantlin said...

Faith is stepping on the gas of your Prius and believing the brake will stop it. Faith is boarding a commercial airline with a man you've never seen or met sitting in the cockpit. Christians and non-Christians all live by faith. The question isn't whether or not you have faith, the question is how perfect or imperfect is your authority for believing what you do. The invisible magic Big Bang doesn't cut it for me. According to God, the invisible magic Big Bang isn't good enough for anyone. "He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." -Ecclesiastes 3:11 Albert Einstein, a man with a decent grasp on how scientific theory works, wrote, "What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism."

Philip Gilbert said...

The evidence is that air travel is very safe. There are statistics and inspections and allsorts of reliable information. Likewise brakes tend to work on cars otherwise they would be recalled.

We put our 'faith' in others because we can't do everything ourselves and society has to evolve. We devolve responsibility to politicians and corporations who are held to account by legislation. How does that provide a metaphor for your 'Invisible magic friend'?

The question is, 'What has your god been doing for the last couple of thousand years? Answering a few prayers on a first-come, first-served basis? Big deal. He is a failure and your devotion to him means nothing. Look for evidence. Use rationale and logic if you dare.

j.scantlin said...

You make some great observations on faith. While we haven't yet lived the moment where the plane touches down safely at the next airport, we get on the plane anyway. We do so because we have reached the conclusion it is more likely that we won't actually fall into the sea. We trust others. We trust knowledge. We can't do or know everything ourselves. We use evidence, rationale, and logic to navigate decisions.

Reason and science, as useful as they may be, are fragile and broken. Planes sometimes fall into the sea. Prius brakes don't engage 100% of the time. Computers crash and generate erroneous forecasts on faulty data, causing a single village to leave umbrellas home on a rainy day, or an entire state to wreck an economy over global warming.

You confess that you place trust in men who build airplanes. Would you not say that they know how to employ science and reason? What if you learned that the same men who built the plane you were boarding were also followers of Jesus, such as the Boeing Employees Christian Club in St. Louis, Missouri? By what authority would you separate their proficient use of science and reason to build an airplane but not to trust God?

Science and reason have led me to trust God. He is more trustworthy than any human scientist. For the past couple thousand years he has been doing exactly what he said he'd be doing, building his church and delaying his return to give everyone an opportunity to repent, because it is not his will that any should perish.

Philip Gilbert said...

Your god isn't coming back. He was never here to start with. You can only remain steadfast in your faith by ignoring the evidence around you.

How does it take an omnipotent being 2,000 years to build 'his' church. Why appear in the first place to a few thoudsnd people in a Middle-Eastern backwater if he wanted to spread such an important message? There are many religions still alive today and several Abrahamic ones. On what evidence do you assert that yours is the correct one?

Regards.

j.scantlin said...

I remain steadfast in my faith by rightly interpreting the evidence around me. As surely as he was here the first time, died and rose again and ascended into heaven, he is returning. No other religion finds its roots in this fact of history, the death and resurrection of Jesus.

God's church is made of people and people are limited by time. God chooses to self-limit his omnipotence, even to the point of emptying himself and "taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness," as Philippians 2:7 puts it, so that we might be saved.

You ask why he appeared to a few thousand in a "Middle-Eastern backwater" to spread such an important message. Did that message not get out? I am writing to you from the 'enlightened' United States of America, some 2,000 years later! And you appear to have some knowledge of Jesus as well! I'd say it worked according to his plan.

God doesn't do things the way men do. I Corinthians 1:27 says, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."