16 Nov 2015

A Twist on Genesis

Religious 14 Comments

I’m going through Genesis with my Bible study partner, and it occurred to me that the feminist complaint about the temptation in the Garden can be flipped on its head. To refresh your memory:

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

So I’ve heard feminist criticism of this account, for the (obvious) reason that it blames everything on the woman.

But look, I can give the story the opposite spin. The Devil had to attack the woman head-on. Once he tricked her, it was a piece of cake to get the husband to go along.

14 Responses to “A Twist on Genesis”

  1. guest says:

    It’s like what Julie Borowski said: Women don’t care about the important issues like politics and economics, so they can’t be expected to stand with someone on those issues if they require “one dimensional” focus (the real world is calling, liberty-lovers).

    The point, of course, being that women are fickle, and men will gladly cave on their principles to attract them.

    • Khodge says:

      There is no shortage of strong women in the Bible who readily take charge of the situation (definitely not fickle!). As often as not, men are portrayed as compliant milquetoasts with no discernable principles ever revealed.

      • guest says:

        It’s interesting that, in the book of Judges, it was the underdogs that were deliberately chosen to lead Israel.

        I submit that the fact that women were among the chosen is consistent with this view, and that, therefore, the book does not promote the concept of women leaders.

        Notice the theme of “God fighting the wars *for* Israel”, rather than Israel fighting their own wars; Gideon picking fighters based on how they positioned themselves to drink from a river, and such.

        *Mind blown*

  2. Major.Freedom says:

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

    • guest says:

      “She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes. She can ruin your faith with her casual lies. … But she’s always a woman to me.” (Billy Joel)

    • Reece says:

      I don’t think the point in the main post was that Eve wasn’t more deceived than Adam, rather that Adam was easier to convince. He probably knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway (unlike Eve, who had to be deceived).

      So, as Bob said, this could be flipped around. Adam knowingly did wrong while Eve had to be tricked into it by Satan.

  3. Innocent says:

    To be honest I love the account of the when the serpent spoke to Eve ( not because of the whole woman thing ) but actually to demonstrate how the Devil lies. If you look at what the serpent said to Eve there really was only one word that the devil said that was a true lie. He said Thou shall NOT surely die. He simply added that word ‘not’ into the phrase. Everything else was the complete and utter truth.

    In this we learn that the father of all lies tells 99/9% truth and manipulates just one little point of truth in order to create a lie… Much like a politician.

    As far as Eve. Sure she was deceived, but I am not about to cast the first stone in this regard. She is ‘the mother of all people’ and as such has a reward to be envied rather than given disdain. If you are married and do not listen to the counsel of your wife then you are a fool 1,000 times over. God made Eve to be a partner to Adam, and I would add that it is an equal partnership, just because there are different roles does not mean that there is a subservience to dominance within it..

    As far as Paul is concerned, even he got things wrong… heck he fought Peter about several points of doctrine in the early church… Just because his writings were put into a book does not mean they are 100% true. Think about how many people today who are ‘male’ are deceived by Satan. Or even back then. Was not Paul himself deceived by the devil about the Christ? How many Christians fell by his hand?

    I enjoy many of his words and he spoke truth, but really lets face the facts that prophets come from their own social and religious understandings and sometimes intermixed culture with their own understanding of the Gospel. Hence I would suggest you seek the spirit of God in all things as you seek to understand the words of God and do not simple listen to the word but seek for guidance from God in the meaning of word of God. Course that is simply by opinion on the matter.

  4. Craw says:

    In the story the devil doesn’t convince Adam, Eve does. This destroys your argument. In the story Eve is the weak link, the way Adam was led astray.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Craw are you talking to me with that comment? I’m saying in my OP that we can say Eve is the strong link and Adam is the weak link, with the following argument: The Devil knew if he hit Adam, he’d trick him, but that Adam couldn’t in turn convince Eve. So the Devil would have to hit her anyway.

      But by focusing just on Eve, the Devil got a two-fer, because Adam was such a pushover.

      It’s weird to say Eve was the weak link when it took the Devil himself to get her to disobey God, whereas Adam just needed his wife to roll over.

      • Craw says:

        Sure, and if Matthew had added “because they were deluded fools not representative of the rest of the Jews” each time he has the Jews baying for Jesus’s blood then Matthew wouldn’t be an anti-Semitic gospel So if you add stuff to the Adam and Eve story that just isn’t there you can probably make it less sexist. In the story as it stands it’s Eve at fault, and we aren’t even told Adam knew what he was eating.

  5. Dan says:

    Feminists don’t need you mansplaining to them.

  6. knoxharrington says:

    Just to be clear here – we are questioning who was ultimately responsible for following the advice of a talking snake.

    • Craw says:

      The voters.

      Oh, you meant a different snake.

      • knoxharrington says:

        Well played. LOL

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