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Why is the First Sin called the "Sin of Adam" not the "Sin of Adam and Eve?"

August 30, 2010

Original Sin as you (hopefully) know is that first sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when they ate the forbidden fruit  of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 3:1-7). It is clearly a sin that involved both of them. And yet, both in Scripture and Tradition when this sin is referred to formally by name it is called the “Sin of Adam” or “Adam’s Sin.” It is also described  as coming to us “through one man”  not “through Adam and Eve” or “through a man and a woman.” Consider the following quotes from Scripture and then from the Catechism:

  1. Like Adam,  they [Israel]  have broken the covenant— they were unfaithful to me there. (Hosea 6:7)
  2. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man….death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam…. (Rom 5:12, 14)
  3. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor 15:22)
  4. All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: “sin came into the world through one man…. (CCC # 402)
  5. Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin….(CCC # 403)
  6. How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man”.293 By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. (CCC # 404)

Why just Adam? Now, to be sure, both Scripture and the Catechism describe the Sin as involving both Adam and Eve, but neither formally refer to it as the “Sin of Adam and Eve” but only, the “Sin of Adam” or “Adam’s Sin.” Sin comes to us through Adam. Why is this?

I want to propose several answers, not all of them politically correct. Now in doing this I am not hereby indicating that everything I am about to say is the formal teaching of the Church. Some of what I present is speculative. Hence I hope you will feel free to critique it and add to what I have written as well as subtract. Here are a few “explanations” as to why it seems fitting that Original Sin is referred to formally as the “Sin of Adam.”

 1. Parallelism – St. Paul makes it clear that we are saved by Christ alone. This is because sin came through “one man” and hence we are saved by “one Man,”  the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ are all made alive (cf Rom 5:17; 1 Cor 15:22).  So parallelism makes it fitting that since one Man saved us, hence we were steeped in sin through one man. Now this argument is ultimately unsatisfying since is amounts to a kind of post hoc, propter hoc sort of argument. We’re really back-loading the whole thing here by starting with a conclusion (we are saved by one Man) and then developing the premise (one man, sinned). But, it is a true fact that the New Testament guides and influences our understanding of the Old Testament, and it should. Hence there are two Adams, a “man-for Man” parallelism. And in this sense the first sin is fittingly called the “Sin of Adam.”

2. The headship of Adam – Scripture teaches of the headship of the husband in marriage (cf Eph 5:22; 1 Peter 3:1; Titus 5:2; Col 3:18). When God ordained marriage he stated that “A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two of them shall be one” (Gen 2:24). Hence it is the man who leads the marriage and is its head. But this makes him finally responsible for  takes place in that marriage.

Now our modern age tends to think of headship in terms of privilege but Scripture speaks of it more in terms of responsibility and service (cf Mark 10:41-45; Lk 12:48). Thus the headship of the husband brings to him a final responsibility for what happens under his roof. This does not mean his wife is without guilt, any more than Eve was without guilt. But headship does mean that the head has to answer for what happens.

I am the head of my parish. Now if some members of my parish or a staff member do something wrong, the Bishop does not call them, he calls me and expects me to handle the matter. I am ultimately responsible for what happens in my parish and must account for it, correct it and accept that I share responsibility for what has happened. This may be because I failed to teach properly, or perhaps I failed to exercise oversight or due diligence. It may not be all my fault, but as head, I have to answer for it.

Hence Original Sin is called the “Sin of Adam” since he was the head of that early household and was finally responsible for what took place. In this regard, notice that when God was looking for them in the Garden after they had sinned he did not say “Adam and Eve where are you?” He said, Adam, where are you? (Gen 3:9) It is Adam who must render an account. Eve is not without blame but God calls out Adam. Adam had headship and in this sense the first sin is fittingly called the “Sin of Adam.”

3. The “Complexity” of Original Sin – When we think of the first sin we tend to think of it as simply the eating of a forbidden fruit. But I want to suggest to you that the first sin was a little more complicated than that and thus involves Adam a little more we commonly think.

Adam had been placed in the Garden and, even prior to Eve’s creation, been told to work the garden and keep it (Gen 2:15). Some translations say he is to work in and guard it. After the creation of Eve and at the moment of temptation we see that Eve has something of a long conversation with the devil wherein he spars with her to cause her to be tempted and ultimately to fall.

Now during this time where is Adam? He would seem to be far off since nothing is said by him. But the text quite remarkably discloses that he was standing right next to her the whole time she converses with Satan! (Gen 3:6). Why this silence from Adam? One would expect Adam to say to Satan, “Why are you speaking with my wife?….What are you saying to her?……Why are you trying to mislead her….?” One would further expect Adam to retort what Satan was saying and defend his wife from this temptation and error. Surely Eve should not have had to answer the Devil all on her own. She does well to begin but then grows weak under the onslaught. Why does Adam not step in to protect and augment his wife’s strength? Why does he not assist her in this struggle and help defend against this threat? Is his silence not part of the first sin? Is his omission not integral to the fall of them both?

Adam had an obligation to rebuff Satan and guard his wife and the garden. But he is passive. As head of the house he has the first responsibility to defend his household from all error, sin and threat. Eve should not have had to face the devil and answer him alone. He was worse than useless, his silence gave strength to Satan’s arguments. Eve is not without sin but Adam has failed miserably to assist Eve and provide the support she needs and deserves.

Now, dear reader, permit my flourishes here. After all I am a preacher at heart and preachers love hyperbole. I admit some excess in my cross-examination but also stand by its basic point which is that the first sin involved more than eating the fruit. That was its culmination. But complicit silence from Adam was integral to the fall as well. It set the stage for the first sin. In this sense too,  the first sin is fittingly called the “Sin of Adam.”

Well, enough said by me. Have at it. Add other points. Distinguish what I have already set forth or wholly reject it if you wish. But ponder with me why, when original sin is called by name, it is called, “the Sin of Adam?”

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  1. John says:

    Msgr.,

    There seems to be some general cultural confusion about the circumstances in the Garden that led up to the Fall. I always had been taught that Eve was tempted by the snake, and only later, having eaten of the fruit, found poor unwitting Adam, and had him eat it. Women!!

    But a basic reading the Gen 3 text clearly shows that Adam was witness to the whole event, and without protest, partook of the fruit as well. “So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Gen 3:6

    The order in which they each ate the fruit seems secondary to the fact that they both were committed to disobeying God. And Adam’s inaction to thwart the snake, and protect his wife, was proof enough of that he intended to disobey God concurrently with his wife. It seems they had both eaten from the Tree of Knowledge in their hearts well before the fruit touched their lips.

    Adam was God’s human prototype. Adam was first to sin.

      • Momma says:

        What Jews and Christian miss is in Genesis 3:22, 22Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– 23therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

        The Judgement was not the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge but the fear that humans would eat of the Tree of Life and live forever. God did not intend that man live an immortal life and thus God forced Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. Then God went a step further to make sure the Tree of Life was protected from humans. 3:24,”So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”
        Pastors often preach the original sin that forced Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden was due to Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge and this is not so.
        Another factor is God left Adam and Eve unprotected from Lucifer who wanted to separate humans from God. He found the way to achieve that spiritual separation through Adam and Eve. Then Adam and Eve gave birth to Sin, Cain. The first murder came from their first child.
        The author of Genesis wanted to stress all humanity has been cursed by the acts of Adam and Eve and through Adam and Eve down to Noah God saw the world was wicked and decided to destroy all but 8 humans and animals. Men were given a second chance but straight out of the gates of God’s second chance we learn of the Sin of Ham and again humanity was cursed and evil spread like cancer down through the generations to this day. Only when Jesus returns will evil be wiped out and finally earth and humanity and animals will find peace.
        God created everything. From the beginning God had created life; good and evil. He taught us how to live a pure and holy life and He taught us how to recognize evil. God gave us free will. Follow Elohim or follow Lucifer and all those that followed Lucifer will be given a chance for redemption. Throughout the Bible we also learn God and Lucifer still speak as it was when they spoke of Job. We have to wonder if Lucifer and Judas were not created to serve God as much as the Prophets and Apostles.

        • Momma: Interesting thoughts. But, if God did not intend for man to live forever, why did He tell the man not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, adding: “For in the day thou eatest of it, thou shalt surely die”? Second, if God didn’t want man to live forever, then why is there no prohibition about eating the fruit of the tree of life prior to the Fall? And third, if God did not want us to live forever, then why did He send His Son to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have everlasting life?

    • Margaret says:

      Genesis 2:16 & 17: Before Eve was created, God told Adam specifically about the forbidden fruit.
      There is no record of God repeating the conversation with Eve (after she was created in Gen. 3.)

      Adam had the “WORD OF GOD” first hand. Eve learned about the commandment later on (possibly Adam) as
      she tried to tell Satan that she wasn’t supposed to eat the fruit. She was not well versed in God’s word. This is
      why man is so easily led astray today also. People don’t know what God really says in His word. They just hear
      what other people say and latch onto it.

      However, I Satan made Eve confused.
      First: Satan QUESTIONED God’s word
      Genesis 3:1 …..Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
      He made her start to think things like “hey, yeah, He did say that” “What did God really mean?”

      Second: Satan slyly CHANGES God’s word (just like these new REVISED books)
      Genesis 3:4 …….Ye shall not surely die

      Third: Satan CHALLENGES and DEGRADES God’s word:
      Genesis 3: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and
      ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
      (Satan makes it sound like God is trying to trick them)

      You are right! Adam did stand in omission. Yet, the Bible clearly states that Eve did indeed sin.
      I Tim. 2:14 states: And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

      Transgression is sin!! She sinned as a result of not being FIRM in the Word. She was easily DECEIVED.
      Adam was NOT DECEIVED. He knew God’s words very well. HE MADE A CHOICE!!

      This is why Adam was accountable for the sin.

      • MarciaS says:

        Did the serpent change God’s word, or did Adam? The Bible isn’t clear on whether Eve heard the rule directly from God or indirectly from Adam. Personally I suspect it was Adam, and I also suspect that he deliberately misled Eve because he wanted to try the fruit himself but didn’t want to take responsibility for it (as others here have pointed out, Adam put up no resistance when Eve offered him a bite). But it’s also possible Eve misheard him. Either way, eating the forbidden fruit was not sinful in itself, because neither Adam nor Eve could “sin” before eating the fruit as they did not yet know good from evil. Thus the first “sin” was committed by Adam, when he falsely blamed Eve for his own decision. The original sin was passing the buck! Hence the term “sin of Adam” is accurate.

        Objectively speaking, Eve did not sin at all, at any point in the story. She had no way of knowing who was telling her the truth. Her explanation that the serpent tricked her was truthful, not deceptive in any way, and thus not sinful (unlike Adam’s false accusation).

        • MarciaS says:

          It’s also telling that Adam did not correct Eve when, in answering the serpent, she misquoted God’s command.

        • This mostly amounts to wild speculation by you. I think you should avoid that. Secondly, Eve’s reportage of God’s rule about the tree is accurate. So I am not even sure what your point is there.

          • MarciaS says:

            Thank you Msgr. for taking the time to respond. Eve’s reportage was inaccurate because she embellished God’s command not to “eat” the fruit (Gen. 2:17), telling the serpent that she and Adam were not to eat or “touch” it (Gen. 3:3). I didn’t know this point was even in dispute, as it has been cited (at least by evangelical Protestants) as a reason why women can’t be trusted and should not be pastors. What I was trying to do here was offer an alternative explanation, which is admittedly speculative in nature but which I believe to be consistent with the biblical narrative.

          • Ema says:

            Marcia,
            Eve “embellished” God words were what she thought to be true. She states to the serpent that she was commanded not to eat from the tree of touch it early on in the conversation. God didn’t tell her this. And it was not possible for her to lie or else that would have been the first sin. This leaves only one person who could have told her that. Adam. I’m not sure what motives Adam could have had to do this, maybe to protect Eve? Maybe it was a test? I don’t know. This idea that women are untrustworthy is a sham.

    • Kimmy says:

      Yes!! Before sin in action, I pray not to, than after I sin I think Why,Did God not help me? After a while of this and growing in Christ, I have already sinned I know when i totally surrender in prayer to God, I end up with righteousness in Me through Christ! I know when the temptation is in my head far to heavy and when that’s the case I ALWAYS end up doing that sin in action! I will fall into this sin! unfortunately I go through the sanctification process far too much! I endured the shame in my sinning for years before God became strong in me to conquer it!! I God wanted me to know without doubt I could not conquer my temptation alone or with man! He is so patient with me!! He is my wonderful councilor he teaches me his ways and places his word In my heart one battle at a time!

  2. Bender says:

    Number 1 seems the most likely reason. Personally, I’ve not noticed the emphasis on Adam over Eve with respect to “who was first?” For the same reasons as number 1, I’ve seen plenty of references to death entering the world through the first Eve and eternal life entering the world through the New Eve (Mary).

    One would expect Adam to say to Satan . . .

    Why would one expect that? How was the man to know what the serpent was up to? How was the man to know that the serpent was “evil” before the man even knew what “evil” was? He had no conception of “evil,” of something contrary to good, of a privation of truth, before he himself did evil, before she and he wanted “to be like gods” themselves, which was contrary to the truth that they were mere creatures, as well as being contrary to love of God, and obtained knowledge of evil by eating its fruit. When the serpent first slithered into the scene, the man was still wholly innocent, that is, ignorant of anything that was “not good.”

    If we are to say that the man should have known that the serpent was evil and was trying to do evil, who are we to say is responsible for the man’s knowledge of evil? If evil existed in the Garden prior to Original Sin, such that the man should have known to guard against it, what is its source? There is only one answer to those questions — God. But God is NOT the source of evil or even the source of the knowledge of evil.

    Rather, God said, “don’t eat the fruit.” And the man, if he was present, heard the woman tell the serpent that “God said we were not to eat the fruit.” So, she had defended herself. What else was the man to do? Say, “yeah, God said don’t eat it or else we’ll die”? The woman had already done that. And when the serpent said, “no, you won’t die — you’ll be like gods,” what was the man to do? Tell the woman something that she already knew, that God said something different? Or was the man to stomp on the serpent before it had even said anything? At that point, it had done nothing wrong.

    The serpent said was it said, the woman thought and desired what she thought and desired. It was her choice. It was her free will. Was the man to grab the fruit from her and toss it away? Too late. The sin was already done before she even took the first bite. She wanted to be like a god. That was it. Game over.

    The woman was responsible for her sin, and the man was responsible for his sin. And he was responsible for the sin of vainly trying to run and hide. And for blaming God for his sin by pointing out that God gave the woman to him. And for blaming her for his own sin. And for the lustful thoughts he started having. And for the power struggle between the sexes that began then.

    The man was not responsible for the woman’s sin. And God was not responsible for the man having knowledge of evil and sin. The man did not acquire that knowledge until he obtained it for himself. So he had no reason to suspect the serpent of evil. Human knowledge of evil and sin did not yet exist.

    The lesson to be learned from the Fall is that we are all Adam, and we are all Eve. Each of us, at different times, can play either role. The lesson is that we are each the author of our own sins by our own free choice of the will. It is not because someone tricked us, or because someone did not come to our defense. We chose to eat the fruit, just as we choose to eat that same fruit each time we sin, deluding ourselves into thinking that we can choose our own moral truth, that we can be like gods and decide for ourselves what is good and what is evil.

    • Dhanagom says:

      Well, we should look at this again. First off we do know that Adam went through all the garden looking for a mate. Finding nothing intelligible, God put him to sleep and made Eve. Adam should have known first off that this was no mere natural creature, once the serpent started to speak. Infact, he had seen serpent before, and should have known that something was wrong. Knowing only truth and goodness does not mean that upon hearing false and evil things you can’t recognize it. Just as seeing color all the time does not mean that upon seeing black and white you don’t notice something is not color, of course you do, it’s just logical. It is to be expected that Adam should have been territorial about the garden and his wife when the serpent appeared to be intelligible (aka acted towards adam and eve as if recognizing them with some purpose in mind, without being commanded by either adam or eve), when it started to speak, and when doing so only spoke falsely.

      • Well said, Dhanagom. The only thing that puzzles me is your conclusion that Adam had seen the serpent before. Are you saying that he had seen him before in the naming of the animals? And if so did he recognize him as evil?

      • Aaron says:

        Msgr, I think Dhanagom is referring to the logical fact that Adam would have 1) seen a serpent in the garden while naming the animals, and thus should recognize the oddity of the creature being intelligent, or 2) not seen a serpent (perhaps the serpent is not a snake??) and thus, when seeing it, should have been on guard anyway. In either case, the situation should have raised a red-flag to Adam.

        • Chriz says:

          Perhaps God had also informed “the serpent” to not intercede with humanity just as he commanded humanity to not go out of their comfort zone in the garden with gods exclusive rules for their well being. For he had given them all they knew and enjoyed and all he asked was to not stray from the home and play in the thorn bush “so to speak” . When the serpent “fallen angel” interceded he lost his grace with god for disobeying and transferred the sin onto Adam whom allowed them also to be deceived for not following the word of God and questioning their creator. This is why God sets this narrative up for us. In order to allow us to evolve into more intellectual loving and accepting beings as well as remain wholly by overcoming this intercedence. Perhaps his oversight was not with humankind but with the ones who knew of good and evil before their fall from grace – The fallen angels , those whom originally “died for our sins” in the eyes of God as well as causing the mishap in humans that God had seemingly underprepared for – if this wasn’t all part of the greater plan – but it is – so let’s just look at it like God tricked those whom were tempted to disobey only as a reflection and karma for their own mistakes – thus his naughty little serpents could receive grace . We could evolve , and receive salvation and immortality as this is the only possible way I could imagine for us evolving into intellectuals yet remaining Godlike in purity.

      • Dan says:

        Just because the serpent was intellegent and spoke wouldn’t make it a suitable help meet for Adam.

        • chrys says:

          Also that “cherub” or guardian was a man.

          In the pride of your heart
              you say, “I am a god;
          I sit on the throne of a god
              in the heart of the seas.”
          But you are a mere mortal and not a god,
              though you think you are as wise as a god.
          3 Are you wiser than Daniel[a]?
              Is no secret hidden from you?
          4 By your wisdom and understanding
              you have gained wealth for yourself
          and amassed gold and silver
              in your treasuries.
          5 By your great skill in trading
              you have increased your wealth,
          and because of your wealth
              your heart has grown proud.

          Interestingly Hariem (who masonry a likens to Jesus) Jezebel and Hannibal all come from Tyreans.

    • Bender:

      Yeah well I guess I am saying a lot of things you think perhaps we cannot say. This is clearly specualtive theology on my part.

      However, to defend my point a bit it seems clear to me that Adam could know and distinguish evil before “knowing” it since GOd had already given him a clear command in this regard. Further “know” in the Bible is generally understood in a less intellectual way than today. So to “know” means to experience something more than to intellectually grasp something. You focus on what Eve did is not without merit but your explanation that the “sin was done” at her acceptance begs the question as to why this is called in Scripture and Tradition the “sin of Adam” and the sin is referenced as coming through “one man” If your explanation is to hold then really the First sin is committed by Eve prior to Adam and this confuses just about everything in my mind we’d need a second Eve rather than a second Adam etc. But scripture cearly links the sin to Adam at least by name while not excluding the fact that Eve also sinned.

      At any rate I fully admit to sepculative theology in this matter and hence my objections to your objections are just understood as being the realm of academic sparring and an interesting debate. THanks for your thoughts on this matter.

      • Dhanagom says:

        The reason why I state that adam saw the serpent before is because I don’t think it wise to lay the creation of a species at the foot of the Devil, rather that the devil possessed the creature serpent…(leading to the cursing of that species, due to it’s submission to Satan?) But even if Adam had not seen the serpent in the garden before, he should have been aware of this alarming fact.

        As for focusing on Eve, I would just restate then that Adam was head of the house hold/family; protector and guardian of Eve and the garden. I was basically just giving one more reason why it would be the sin of Adam, in that, speculatively he was the last hope of mankind and thus seeing as how he still fell, he can be seen as being most guilty. I forget if it was jesuit, benedictine, dominican or franciscan but one of the Scholastic schools of thought held that Adam would have been able to redeem Eve, by his death, and that God would have ressurected Adam, and he would have thus been in the garden with Eve in a glorified form. This would have thus been the progenetor of Humanity.

  3. Andrew J. Decker, III says:

    Msgr. Pope,

    First, please let me express my appreciation for your scholarship, insights and work in putting these daily meditations together. I have been inspired and moved to further research and contemplation of my own. Your observations have stayed with me at Mass and helped me to understand our priest’s homilies better. Thank you for this blog and God bless you. After the daily readings, it is the first place I log onto!!

    Another insight into Adam’s “headship” may be found in the words “abodah” and “shamar” which are usually translated “to till and keep” the garden. These words apparently do not occur in any other passage of the Bible except for the Book of Numbers in which the priestly commitment of guarding, serving and maintaining the tabernacles (later the temple) are spoken. Many see the Garden as the epitome of Creation and Adam’s role and appointment as priest to serve and guard God’s Creation. This appointment was given to Adam and not to Eve. It was Adam who failed to honor his priestly appointment to serve, guard and maintain. It was Adam who was held accountable by God.

    This also shows that from the very beginning, God, through His own wisdom and mystagogical plan made man for ordination and not women. This is not to slight women in the least. God made a solemn, blessed covenant of priestly service with Adam as the first man. That was a awesome blessing and awseome responsibility that Adam failed to honor. And, of course, women throughout scripture have found special favor and demonstrated beautiful faith in the roles and in the tasks God has assigned them: Ruth, Deborah and Esther to name but a few. And of course, the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, to whom all men and women offer their prayers of supplication and intercession and whom even the archangels stand in holy awe for her love, obedience and humility.

    Adam’s was the apostolic failure of the first order.

    • Thank for articulating this approach to the Hebrew words. I had heard something similar before from others but was not able to articulate it well. You have done this and I appreciate it. I especially like the link to the Numbers text which it turns links it to the concept of priesthood.

    • Daniel says:

      I have a problem with your reasoning about gender in this story. God commanded Adam to “till and keep” the garden before the creation of Eve. If there was only one creature (Adam), it is clear that the creature could not have had a gender (“gender” specifies a sexual creature, which means by definition requires at least 2 kinds). Since Eve was literally made of the same stuff as Adam and had the same Spirit of God within her, when she was made she also must have shared in the mandate given to the original creature to till and keep the garden.

      • Aaron says:

        Actually, “gender” specifies not a sexual creature, but a group of social characteristics/mannerisms that are generally attached to a person’s sex. “Sex” refers to a sexual creature. You don’t see on a dog license the field “gender”, you see “sex”. A dog is, quite simply, a sexual creature, and their sexual characteristics are dependent upon their sexual organs, not their social upbringing.

        As soon as Eve is made from Adam’s rib, she is called “woman”, not man. She may be human, but she is not a man. There is a reason that the Sacred Author makes that clear distinction. Throughout the entire narrative, Adam is referenced as “he” or “the man”, whilst she is referenced as “she” or “the woman”. Even the originals maintain this distinction. Therefore, it is quite clear that the Sacred Author, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, meant to show that there were indeed different sexes, and each sex had a different role. Consider that after the Fall, only Adam was condemned to till and work the ground, while Eve was condemned to pain in childbirth. Under your premise, Adam would suffer pain in childbirth, but the last time I checked, men can’t give birth.

      • Daniel says:

        Aaron,
        Thanks for the clarification of terms. My premise was not at all about the situation of humans after the fall or about whether men can give birth. There is also no dispute that after the Fall there is a clear distinction of roles, and also a sense that man will be master of woman as a result of the sinfulness of humanity. There is no dispute also that AFTER the creation of Eve there are two sexes. Prior to this, however, there was no sex in the story, since there was only one creature–just one– “Adam”, and sexual creatures must have at least two kinds.
        My point was simply that prior to the creation of a second creature, the two creatures were one. At the division of the one into two, sexuality comes into existence, male and female simultaneously. Therefore Eve also shared in the mandate given to Adam to care for and till the garden since she was indeed of the same stuff and Spirit as Adam. To argue that “he” and “man” always refers to maleness is spurious since these are often used in many languages to refer to inclusive groups or to mean “human”. The author is limited in the choice of pronouns available.

  4. Mr. M. Savage says:

    To Msgr and John,

    Though possibly true, one cannot deduce exclusively that; “and she took of the fruit thereof, and ate, and gave to her husband, who ate” happened consecutively, just as one obviously should not deduce that “And she brought forth a man child…, And her son was taken up to God” happened one immediately after the other either.

    Being ‘from God’, Adam has the greater responsibility, while Eve being Woman (from man) is secondary in the ‘order’ of things.

    This is demonstrated when God “called Adam” to account first before Eve. That she was implicit in Adam’s sin was testified when “the Lord God said to the woman. Why have you done this?”

    Notably, had Adam not sinned, it would still have been possible that a second Eve be created from another rib and, if she did not sin, through whom the Messiah would appear in all His glory, as was the will of God!

    Which is exactly what did happen and is to happen: Mary, the New Eve was ‘Immaculately conceived’ and through Her came the Messiah, who will appear in all His Glory, but at the end of time, not during it.

    • Yes, this connection of the story to the Mary as the New Eve is important and I had thought to include it in the post but chose not to in order to keep the question more focused. But it is an important point to include here and I am glad you have done so. As to your first point, I think St. Thomas develops this same thought in his work “De Malo” and the Catechism footnotes him in this regard. Not having the work at hand, I could not read through and develop it and am thus glad you have included it here as well.

  5. dalis says:

    father, are Ewtn station television /radio some orthodoxy teaching.
    because know ,very different sugestion beetween the presentation and not more like roman catholicism.

    Thank you
    lopezte

    • I am not sure what your seceond sentence is saying exactly. I apologize. However as to the first EWTN is surely a reputable source in terms of orthodox teaching on the faith.

  6. Chris Yarsawich says:

    Excellent article, Monsignor! I’d like to add to your second point, the headship of Adam. It seems to me that there is, at the foundation of human life, unity. So in Gen 1:27 (the starting point for Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body) God makes man (unified human being, containing or referring to both male and female) in His image. In Gen 2:21-23, Eve is created out of Adam’s rib, thus they share the same flesh. In Ephesians 5:21-33, St. Paul expands on the responsibilities that derive from the one flesh union of marriage, alluding to how this same union is fulfilled (and perfected) in Christ’s marriage to the Church. The unity implied or stated in these and related Scripture passages is also inherent in every human life: no one comes into the world except through a father and a mother (and God, of course!). That is, every individual is by his very nature a member of a family, sharing literally in the flesh and blood of that family. This, then, is yet another possible explanation for why the First Sin is consistently called Adam’s Sin: the literal unity of the human family, as well as the mystical unity of Christ with His Church.

  7. Dismas says:

    I attended all years of CCD growing up. I often wonder looking back, how and why I was so poorly catechized. Was it my disinterest and lack of participation? Was it a lack of sound doctrine and poorly prepared teachers? Was it my parents lack of involvement and trust in the program? Anyway one of the few events I remember clearly and I can’t remember what grade, was the discussion or original sin and the Garden of Eden. My male teacher stood in front of the class and jokingly said, ‘Hey, If it wasn’t for Eve’s disobedience, maybe we wouldn’t all be in this mess in the first place.’ It’s strange how this error has always stuck with me and is one of the my most powerful memories from CCD. It also probably explains why the line O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!, always resounded, haunted and troubled me every Easter.

    • Hmm! You’re right that it is funny how some things, often wrong things, stick with us. THanks too for reminding me of the Felix culpa from the Exsultet, another example of how the sin is referred to nominatively as the Sin of Adam.

  8. Brian Z. says:

    I think because mankind was made up of man and woman both had to fall. If Adam had not listened to Eve, Eve herself would have been punished but in the Lord’s justice Adam and paradise would have remained. Just like God said he would spare the city if he could find 5, 10 etc. faithful men. Just my opinion, But I definitely agree that the sin was disobeying God, but it is the sin of Adam because he could have absolutely prevented it. Interesting post! Question. is there any proof that Adam and Eve were, eventually, saved by the Lord and brought into heaven?

    • Dhanagom says:

      I’m pretty sure it is holy tradition that Adam and Eve were saved, and I guess if you want to work backwards, they are listed/declared as Saints by the Catholic Church, so the answer in the end is Yes, but as for proof, I’m not sure what you are looking for in that.

    • Good thoughts from both of you. But though both sinned we’re still left to wonder as to the attestation to the Sin to Adam.

  9. JohnnyD51 says:

    Good point, Monsignor. How many guys stand idly by and let their wives carry weights they themselves have the capacity to shoulder? Some women treat their men like another child. If guys don’t like their women wearing the pants they need to make sure they stay ‘girded up’, not draggigng down around their butts. Society tells our women they should ‘have it all’ but that doesn’t seem to be working out too well. A married man doesn’t need an extra Mama. The one in heaven tells him all he needs to know. Marriage should add to our manliness, not detract from it. God bless us all.

    • Your comments are not exactly PC but I would say that I tend to agree with them. THe feminist movement may have added some necessary corrections to our western world but there is also fallout that now needs re-correction such as some of what you mention. Men have become very passive and feminized in modern times. It starts even in school when boys who exhibit ordinary agressiveness are punished and even medicated. Rough-housing is a very normal thing for a boy but many call it ADD etc.

      • Daniel says:

        Msgr.,
        I’m not sure what you mean about men being “feminized”, especially when you seem to advocate aggressiveness in boys. Where does one draw the line? It seems a dangerous argument in light of the model of Jesus, who did not resist his arrest and wrongful execution (and was therefore considered a failure of a Messiah by his followers). A bruised reed he would not break…

      • Daniel: I wrote more extensively on the question of raising boys here: http://blog.adw.org/2010/01/raising-boys/
        Also, you seem to equate agressiveness with physical violence. I am not. But rough housing and being competitive and restless is part of being a boy and whould not be medicated as a general rule.

        As for Jesus, he was no whimp and no one could lay a hand on him until he willed it, until his hour had come. He directly withstood his enemies and publically unbraided on them on many ocassions. Hence I would argue that his non-resistance should not be oversimplified. He was not, to be clear given to physical confrontation but even here it is important to remember that He cast out demons and overthrew tables in prophetic action, in the Book of Revelation we see him described as one who will rule the nations with an iron rod and that the word that comes forth from his mouth is as a sharp two edged sword. The “Gentle Jesus” of the modern era is an oversimplification. The best model in which to see Jesus, if you ask me is that he is a prophet and prophets we not the proverbial “nice guy” of the 20th Century, they were bold and uncompromising as they confronted evil and injustice. Jesus too was often in this mode. It is also true that to repentant sinners he was merciful. It was those bruised reeds he would not break. My main point is not to oversimplifiy Jesus. He is compassionate but clear as to what he expects of us. His “silence” was for but a time, when his hour had come. Otherwise, it is clear that he spoke out with authority and insists on obedience to God and that he is Lord.

  10. Jerry says:

    There is also the fact that the command not to eat the fruit was given to Adam before Eve was even created. She is certainly aware of the law, but it was not given to her directly. Adam may bear more culpability since he received the command directly from God and disobeyed it nonetheless.

    • Aaron says:

      I agree. At my business, our safety coordinator is responsible for telling all of us the safety guidelines. If an employee does not follow them, the safety coordinator is questioned for the lack of compliance (and the employee is punished as well).

  11. SeekerofGod says:

    According to a Catholic Bible study offered through the St. Paul Center (established by Dr. Scott Hahn), Adam had four roles and four opportunities to save himself. 1 — As a king of Eden, he had been given authority to tell the serpent to leave; he did not. 2 – As a son of God, he could have called upon his Father for assistance (“Dad, there’s a big scary serpent here. Help!) 3 – As a husband, he should have stepped between the serpent and Eve, protecting her. 4 – As a priest, he should have been willing to sacrifice himself.

    So Adam demonstrated a number of personal decisions that demonstrated laziness, cowardice, pride, failure to lead — all of which are common in today’s fallen world.

  12. Melchior Cano says:

    Msgr.,

    Does it not have something to do with the fact that St. Paul tells us that Eve was decieved, but Adam was not decieved; that is, Eve believed the words of the serpent, falling prey to temptation. Adam, on the other hand, did not believe that they would be “like gods” but rather was a coward who wanted to please man (his wife, in this case), rather than God.

    On a side note, its interesting that the Church always taught and continues to teach that if only Eve had eaten the fruit, we would not have fallen. It was Adam’s sin that caused our fall.

    In Christ

    • Thanks for adding this. I also ahd thought to add Paul’s reflection here in this regard but thought it might send us off in another direction. But you have presented it well and more succinctly that I could. THanks. As to your second point, is there some citation you might offer to this point? I do not disagree with you but would appreciate any references to the Catechism, the Fathers or Denziger

  13. Mike says:

    Another response I have heard about this deals with the Hebrew word a’dam which means mankind in a general sense. This gets translated to the sin of Adam meaning the sin of mankind. I don’t particularly ascribe to this because it violates the parallelism you mentioned and seems to trivial but i have heard this presented.

    • Yes, I have read that too and disagree with it for the same reason. Sin coming thro “One man” does not equal mankind. Otherwise God the Father could have sent a committee or even a whole race of people to save us. Then again, maybe he Did! And this explains all the UFOs and the Rosewell incident! 🙂

  14. GregK says:

    Better watch it with that male headship stuff. That’ll get you in trouble. 🙂

  15. John Stevens says:

    The Church teaches that Original Sin passes from generation to generation through the seed of the father. Therefore, even though Eve sinned, the sin passes on to their children through the seed of Adam. This continues on through all generations. Men and women are both born with Original Sin but it is passed by the father to the children.

    • Here too, do you have citations to indicate this is official teaching? I am not disputing your point. I am only interested in quotes from the Catechism, Fathers or Denziger in this regard.

  16. Dhanagom says:

    I would like to put forth another theory. It is speculated that after Eve had eaten of the fruit, that it was possible for Adam to redeem humanity, if he first did not eat of the fruit and second if he laid down his life for the sake of Eve, thus paying the debt that Eve incurred. In a sense Eve’s sin, by itself, was only on her head, and would not necessarily be passed down. One way of seeing original sin is that of not being able to pass down the preternatural graces God blessed Adam and Eve with. If Adam maintained his preternatural graces he would be able to pass them on, even if Eve could not. However, when Adam ate of the fruit, he continued the condemnation that was “started” with Eve and brought it to the whole human race, since now there was no chance, of passing on the preternatural gifts (ie not passing on original sin) without the direct intervention of God, as in the case of Mary. Thus it is fitting to call Original Sin the sin of Adam, since Adam was the last hope of preternatural humanity, yet he fell.
    I would argue against John above in that one ought to be careful how one argues the comming about of the first sin. We must say that man had total controle over his being and that temptation entered the world by the devil. If this is the case we ought not to say that the first sin was necessarily premeditated before the devil ever arrived. Else we could point to the fact that the first parent’s willed disobediance for sometime. But that strikes against all reason and logic . and since thier reason and logic were not contaminated before the fall it stands to reason that naturally they would never have fallen…(perhaps?) but that rather it took something supernatural (the devil) to steer man from his course but a little, and then for man to see this and still accept this in his heart. I think it problematic to put discord or evil into the world (heart of man) before the devil ever shows up.

    • An interesting theory though, like much of mine, a rather speculative enterprise since we cannot observe an alternate outcome. Further, there is some “proof” needed for the fact that Adam would still be able to pass down his justice even if Eve sinned. I am also puzzled by your contention that temptation entered the world only after the first sin. Was not what the Devil did prior to Sin temptation? Further was not Christ tempted though he was without sin? I will grant that Adam and Eve as well as Jesus and Mary expereinced temptation differently than we “poor sinners.”

      • Dhanagom says:

        If I stated that temptation only came in after the first sin, I misspoke. I meant that temptation didn’t come before Satan entered the scene. Since man had total controle/harmony with self and God, and without Satan (as is the case with Jesus and perhaps Mary?) there would be no temptation.

  17. BobK says:

    Another way to think of this might be within the context of the spousal relationship, i.e., a “complementary completion, each within each,” mindset. As SeekerofGod indicates, Adam had numerous levels on which to assert his dependence on God, to his and Eve’s benefit. Adam exercised his free will and tipped the scales in favor of sin when he freely chose to deny his dependence on God, forsaking “the first spousal unit’s” complementary completion in God, in favor of their imperfect, non-completion based solely on human reason.

  18. Grandpa Tom says:

    It is called Adam’s sin because Adam is the “Progenitor” of all of mankind. The first “Soul” belongs to Adam, and the title of the First Man. He is the Father of mankind, the originator of the line of descent. We are his progeny, or descendants, or offspring as a result of a creative effort. The soul precedes the formation of the body due to its dignity (Summa Theologia; Treatise on Man; Q. 75), and because the principal of the intellectual operation resides in the soul which is subsistent apart from the body. The body is necessary for the action of the intellect, but not as its origin of its action. The rational soul animates the body. In the Law of Nature, in the law of generation of an animal (human included) the female supplies the matter, the woman’s blood is brought to a more perfect state of secretion by the mother’s passive power during ovulation, the generative power comes from the male sperm which provides the seed. The development of the body is the augmentive power of the soul. Adam lived 930 years, and invented the first language. His first word uttered is thought to have been “EL” the earliest name for God, according to St. Isidore. Adam being created as an adult, never had a childhood. His new world would have appeared old, or mature to him, with adult animals roaming about, rivers flowing, and trees ripe with fruit. St. Thomas Aquinas said Adam’s sin was not in the tasting of the Forbidden Fruit, but the cause was the trespassing of the spiritual boundry set by God as proper to man. St. Thomas explains this pertains to pride which caused the disobedience. Adam lived 930 years, but is thought to have spent only seven hours in the Garden before being expelled, some scholars have said he spent 34 years in the Garden matching the amount of years Christ spent of this earth. Adam waited 4,302 years held captive in the bondage of sorrow before Christ’s Harrowing of Hell, in A.D 34 (C.C.C. Para. 635) and rescuing Adam when Christ said: “I am your God, who for your sake became your son… I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.” Adam’s body which was preserved on Noah’s Ark, is buried in Hebron, and not as the first skull represented at Calvary, according to St. Thomas Aquinas. Adam’s soul, being the first formed, is enjoying the splendor of God, face to face.

    • Well I’m a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material in this paragraph Grandpa. Some of it seems speculative (e.g. number of years here and there, 1st word = El etc.). I had thought of the progenitor argument of Aquinas et al. but thought not to present it here since modern Biology seems to call some of its premises in question. The woman does truly provide more than a seedbed. She too provides half the genetic content of the new human. Hence I chose not to go the progenitor route.

  19. Pat says:

    Great article!!! It’s interesting, though, that the phrase “sin of Adam” is just accepted in normal life. If it had been some benefit of good thing that Adam did, you can bet your bottom dollar that the “progressive” priests, sacred music writers, and lectors would be changing that to more “inclusive” language.

  20. Vijaya says:

    Wonderful article. I had not even thought about headship and the complexity of the original sin. Reading through the comments, I also wonder if Adam had sacrificed his life for Eve, if the evil that had penetrated the garden would’ve been stopped?

    It seems now that even though God’s plan was to make a perfect being, that as humans, we cannot grow if we are perfect. Growing involves suffering. So allowing the serpent to enter was part of the divine plan?

    • The presence of the serpant in the garden is mysterious but it seems almost necessary since love to which Adam and Eve were summoned requies freedom. Freedom requires real choices. Hence the presence in the garden of an “alternative”

  21. Tapestry says:

    Adam was born first, he knew the rules before Eve, and should have just flat known better.
    Because after ‘the fall ‘ God said why are you hiding?
    Adam immediately blames Eve for his situation.
    Just like a child would have blamed a younger sibling for breaking the vase in the living room.
    I see them as teenagers, playing in the garden, happy and innocent until they were told
    something that stirred the sin of pride(the one sin that Lucifer succomed to) and in that moment.
    we lost our chance for an easy way to heaven.
    But really if we were in their place wouldn’t we have done the same thing?
    Wouldn’t we have thought this would be a good deal let’s give it a try?
    They weren’t perfect, just first of God’s new creations, a prototype that broke under sin,
    so now we move on and deal with suffering and death until the end of time.

    • Not sure I’d say that they weren’t “perfect” prior to the fall. That said, where their pride emerge from is not clear if they were perfect. It’s a tough thing to describe Adam and Eve in their praeternatural state.

  22. Daniel says:

    “In iustitia a Deo constitutus, homo tamen, suadente Maligno, inde ab exordio historiae, libertate sua abusus est, seipsum contra Deum erigens et finem suum extra Deum attingere cupiens. ” Gaudium et Spes 13

    Many people here seem to suggest with certainty that Genesis 2 and 3 are literal history rather than seeing them in the genre of creation myths. This can create a lot of confusion and possibilities for “twisting” the text to a preferred meaning, especially with regard to gender roles. If we don’t read Scripture in context we might ignore Genesis 1 which offers no disparity of roles and a clear and simultaneous creation of male and female in the image of God.
    Question: does “inde ab exordio historiae” mean “at the beginning of history” (as it is translated by the CCC), or does it mean “since the beginning of history”. The former suggests an actual historical event, and the latter seems to allow for an historical-critical approach to Scripture.

    • The accounts are “history” in the sense that they convey the truth of what God did. However the genre is poetical and not the usual way that modern histories are written. Hence a respect for the poetic genre is essential. In speaking of the beginning of history the Catechism does not mean to say that Genesis is literal history like we write today, but rather that it teaches that God created everything out of nothing and in an orderly manner.

  23. Jennifer says:

    Great article, Monsignor! I love your stuff and never fail to learn something that keeps me thinking!

    Quick reply to Vijaya: Humans were meant to grow, even if they “were perfect” in the sinless sense, and we have our Blessed Mother and Jesus himself as scriptural proof, for neither of them had “sin”. Both, however, grew in wisdom, virtue and the spiritual things.

    Another comment I would like to add is that when our first parents sinned, it was much worse than when we sin, because they did not have the Original Sin and concupiscense (that tendency toward sin/evil that makes it look “good”) on their souls. They were able to see the sin for what it truly was and chose it anyway. That is part of the reason it was so devastating; it is also why the heroic triumph of both Jesus and Mary over sin is so profound!

  24. Mary Irving says:

    Adam was the head of the human race. Eve was taken from him. Adam was the head of the human race. Frank Sheed in THEOLOGY AND SANITY states: “…(We) should realize what was involved in the original relation of oneness between God and our race. He had conferred upon us supernatural life which… lifts us from mere creatures into sons of of God. The gift was to Adam, but to Adam as head of the race …. The human race was put to the test in Adam; Adam failed to pass the test….” If Adam had not sinned (even if Eve did), we would not have inherited original sin.

  25. Alan says:

    Just a guess…
    Because it is also called ancestral sin, and the seed is never the womans possession except in one biblical verse foreshadowing mary’s seed which would overcome the serpent. Therefore the sin belonged to Adam, because only he could pass it on to the generations. One cannot give what one does not possess.

  26. Rosemary says:

    Sorry to disagree with Msgr. Pope but the relationship of a husband and wife is not at all like that of pastor and parishioners. My take on this is that a man is head of his wife in the sense that she, like the Church, needs to be protected which includes her body, spirit, and honor. It is not the husband alone who is responsible for what occurs under his roof anymore than Christ is responsible for the foibles of His earthly Church. We will all be separately held to account.

    • Rosemary: you said, The relationship of a husband and wife is not at all like that of pastor and parishioners
      How can you know this?

      • Reginald says:

        Msgr.,
        That is an awesome response to Rosemary!

        The priest can know that his relationship to the Church is like that of a husband and wife because he is privileged to enter into the marriage relationship so deeply (through counseling, confession, baptisms, etc).
        The priest has many opportunities to know his people. To his people, however, the priest himself always remains something of a mystery…they can never really understand him — and they shouldn’t have to. He, after all, is supposed to die for them. It is enough for the sheep to recognize their shepherd, they don’t need to know everything about him…but the shepherd had better know his sheep!

  27. kirsten says:

    when i studied Judaism, i read an interesting tidbit that has stayed with me… i am sorry i cannot immediately find the source…

    ADAM was told not to eat of the fruit of the tree, a direct order from God.
    HE told EVE what God had said since she had NOT BEEN THERE when the original order was given……
    Eve, in some of the Jewish versions of the story, got details wrong…… “we shall not eat of it, nor even touch it..” (God never said that) and the serpent showed her that it could, in fact, be touched without harm.. hence giving supposed credence to the idea that “god lied to you”.

    i dont think its accurate by our Catholic translations, but i do find it interesting.

    as to the “how could Adam have known/done anything” question raised by some other commenter.

    Adam may not have known the serpent immediately as evil. like many innocent people he had no experience with “evil”
    but he certainly could know that the serpent told them God, his creator and the provider of the garden, lied.
    he could certainly understand that the serpent told them to do what God said to not do.

    when Eve listened to the serpent, he could have tried to stop her from taking the fruit. he could have said “are you forgetting to whom we owe our lives? are your forgetting that it is God’s tree, to give or not give to us?”
    and as was pointed out by CS Lewis, he could have refused to directly defy Gods commands for himself, even if he could not /did not stop Eve.

  28. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    Very interesting. I just don’t know. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Thank God for the priesthood. The yoke is heavy and the burden sounds pretty heavy too. I can empathize with Adam’s situation. Msgr. Pope just made me realize where I failed in my marriage. After 27 years, I still haven’t been able to control my wife’s behavior and it’s all my fault.I don’t think things will change drasticly in that area.

  29. Maureen says:

    I think the original sin was POOR CATECHESIS. 😉 Let’s face it — Eve wasn’t even created when Adam was told not to eat of the fruit of that particular tree. Evidently Adam didn’t pass on the message quite correctly (like the old telephone game) because Eve’s version was that they not only should not eat from the tree but that they couldn’t even touch it. So as soon has Adam heard Eve’s misstatement, he should have stepped in for all of the very good reasons stated above.

    We continue to suffer from that particular aspect of original sin today. Truly though, the original sin from which all the others stem is very simply the desire to what we want and not what God wants. That’s what makes it original and all the other sins copycats, so to speak. All sin is essentially man telling God that he (man) knows better than God about X and will therefore “have it his [man’s] way.”

  30. Rosemary says:

    Msgr., I am not sure if you are being facetious. The two relationships are very different, (esp. in the physical way.) I am not sure how you can say that the two are so alike. Priests do not procreate; their relationship with parishioners is supposed to be purely platonic. A good pastor/bishop protects his flock from error, feeds it with the Gospel and the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a unique relationship. That between a husband and wife is also unique – they cooperate with God in creating more humans, loving and feeding their children, etc.

    The two relationships should be upheld as distinct and unique.

    • Dhanagom says:

      I would disagree with you Rosemary, for one, the Bible encourages the husband to be like Christ, to be willing to lead her and die for her. The first calling of a husband is to be a Christ to his wife. And the first calling of the wife is to be like the Church/Bride of Christ. This language is very similar to that of a Priest and his parish. The Priest is in persona Christi, of all the people he is closets to being a Christ figure to us. The parish is a local physical representation of the Universal Church, which has always been seen as the Bride of Christ. There is a reason why the language is so similar when explaining both, it is because the relationships are similar. One would not use a fish as an example to explain why birds fly, so to one would not establish a relationship to follow when understanding another relationship if there were no similarities or parallels. Just as a priest/husband ought to put what is best for his parish/family first, and dedicate his life to their well being, so to should the parish/wife be obediant and loving of/to the priest/husband. As far as procreation is concerned, the priest spiritually brings life to the community by bringing them into the Church through the sacrament of Baptism. Without this the community would be in a real sense dead. The sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist only sustain that life and keep it going strong. SO YES these relationships are very closely related. Another thing to think about is the fact that we do call Priests, Father. This is to show thier spiritual paternity…we would only say Father only if in a real sense he had some significant role to play in the creation of our own spirituality, mainly the sacraments. A pastor is suppose to be more than platonic love, it is suppose to be a salvific love.

      • Rosemary says:

        Thank you, Dhanagom, you put it very eloquently. I am not disputing the fatherly role of the pastor in his parish or his acting in persona Christi. I agree with all you say. However, I believe that the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders are unique and distinct, as are all the Sacraments. I would never say, “The relationship my husband and I have is like that of our pastor with his parish.” By what experience could I ever say that?
        I’m afraid I have caused a kerfuffle and apologize for that.

  31. Mary says:

    According to Jewish Midrash, Adam and Eve had the ability to discern truth and falsehood. We are all born with a basic moral conscience, as was the ‘created’ Adam and Eve. Basic is yes/no; up/down; in/out – no gray area. They knew what it meant to obey and disobey. They were NOT put in the garden unarmed.

    BOTH ADAM and Eve caused the problem. But Adam was the sole sinner and tried to place the blame. Eve was offered the fruit, but he also ate. It wasn’t until ADAM ATE that the “Fall” actually occurred. Gen 3:6 Eve eats first then Adam. Then Gen 3:7 “both their eyes were opened”. If ADAM had refused to eat we would all still be in the garden.

    In Midrash, the snake is standing upright, speaking, soft skinned, does not have a forked tongue yet, in fact is the closest animal to man in the forest. The snake is jealous. He wants what Adam has. Hey, I didn’t translate this, speak to the Rabbi. Some of them even claim that the snake wanted what Eve had. I’m not kidding. Okay, anyway he tells her he doesn’t understand the problem. God gives her this desire to eat, gives her all these trees, but yet she can’t eat from them all? What’s that all about? If God gives you a desire for something doesn’t he want you to use it? Wouldn’t it be disobeying God to not use it? Sound like a lawyer to you? Ya! That’s why God doesn’t even ask him for an explanation and justs condemns him to the dirt. The difference between man and animal is that man has reason and not just instinct. Man has the ability to stop himself before he makes the wrong choice.

    The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was the tree of all desires. It was dripping with it. All of man’s personal lust and desirer. Eve AND ADAM are listening to the snake and looking at this tree and becoming more and more messmerized by it.

    Remember that they only know truth and falsehood. Does it look good? – yes; would it then taste good? – yes; Don’t you then think God is holding out on you? – huh? oh,what? well, yes. You are not going to die if you eat or touch this tree. And don’t you think that the snake doesn’t ‘accidently’ nudge one of them into the tree? Nothing happens. Doubt enters their minds which sets up the train for the downhill race to moral dilema.

    Is it bad to steal? yes or no? Obviously to them the answers is yes.
    Before they ate the fruit, what they did not have was personal desire which sets up moral dilema.

    So, after they eat, their eyes are opened to their own desires and it is too much to take in all at once so they must hide from it.

    The simple question- Is it bad to steal? – becomes interlaced with whatever emotion that is associated with it.

    Such as
    Is it bad to steal, if YOUR CHILD IS DYING OF HUNGER? or
    Is it okay to lie to your sister, if HER DRESS IS REALLY UNBECOMING?or
    Is it okay to cheat on a test, if ITS THE ONLY WAY YOU’LL BE ABLE TO GET INTO COLLEGE?

    Stealing is still stealing, lying is still lying and cheating is still cheating no matter what the motive or reason. This is the lesson.

    MORAL DILEMA in the face of good and evil becomes a hard choice for us all. Adam and Eve doubted in the sincerity of God and were overwhelmed with their own personal desire which hampered their ability to reason in the right thinking of love. This is what the story of Adam and Eve is all about. The story, if read metaphorically is a wealth of moral and ethical learning.

  32. Reginald says:

    Msgr.,
    I am sure that this is not politically correct to say, but it is what seems to have been the teaching of at least some of the Fathers of the Church (St. Augustine among them) and, most especially, of St. Thomas and other great medieval doctors…

    Original Sin is called the “Sin of Adam” because it was passed down to the children by Adam. In fact, original sin is always passed down from the father to the child. The woman, even though she be conceived in original sin, does not pass this sin down to the children, because her role in generation is passive.
    The man has the active role in the generation of a child…he fertilizes the woman’s egg. Even on a biological level it is very clear that the man has the active role (I don’t think I need to go into detail here about the process by which a sperm fertilizes an egg).

    The point is this: the man is the active force in generation, he is the active force in passing on the human nature to the children. The woman is the passive force in generation, which is just as necessary and important as the man’s role. The two roles (that of the woman and that of the man) are both equally important and worthy, but they are not identical…they are complimentary.

    Since the man is the active force in passing on the human nature, so too he is the active force in passing on original sin (which is a privation of the nature).
    Thus, St. Thomas tells us, if a child where to be miraculously conceived of a woman without the active power of a man, that child would be born without original sin. This is why Christ did not suffer from original sin: he was conceived solely of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Holy Spirit was the active power in his generation). Hence, even if our Lady had been affected by original sin, Christ would not have contracted it…since a woman cannot pass on original sin to her children.

    As all active generative power existed potentially in Adam (he is the active generative force at the beginning of the human race), Adam can be said to have passed on original sin to all his descendants (except Christ and Mary). Thus, it is called the Sin of Adam, since he has transmitted original sin to all of us.

  33. DAve Hahn says:

    It’s fun to play theologian and Philosopher. I do it all the time myself. As the Msgr said he was being speculative and that can help one break open and see new ideas that might not have been seen before. However we just had a “Great” Pope die about 5 years ago who had alot of insight on all this written in his “Theology of The Body”. Perhaps it would be a good idea for those who haven’t read it to read it and try and form thier opinion around what he says. Often times God has made it that if we believe based on faith because it is what the Church teaches understanding will follow. But than if we all did this we there wouldn’t be these fun kind of debabtes.

  34. David says:

    Monsignor, I can see why you “thought to add Paul’s reflection here in this regard but thought it might send us off in another direction”, as you say in reply to Melchior Cano. But it may be worth noting the reference 1 Timothy 2:13-15, and also, I think, the only other reference to Eve by name in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 11:3. St. Paul says Eve was deceived, Adam was not (the Vulgate uses form of ‘seducere’). This does not free her from responsibility for having sinned, but presumably it makes his sin worse.

    It is interesting to think, with St. Anselm in ‘Cur Deus Homo’ (there’s at least one modern, scholarly English translation on line), that Eve was brought forth from Adam without loss of his virginity.

    kirsten mentioned C.S. Lewis: it is worth noting the source, ‘A Preface to Paradise Lost’ (OUP, 1942), which among all sorts of interesting things included a chapter, “Milton and St. Augustine”, beginning, “Milton’s version of the Fall story is substantially that of St.Augustine, which is that of the Church as a whole.”

    Lewis notes (ch. 18), in Milton’s retelling, that Eve, not having died immediately, “remembers that the fruit, may, after all, be deadly.” In giving the fruit to Adam, then (Gen.3:6), she is conditionally intending murder: if it’s deadly, she’s going to make sure she doesn’t die alone, and he escape. I do not know how widely shared an exegesis this is, but it makes sense. This is how quickly she has become variously sinful!

    Adam, however, does not try to die for her, but viciously (assuming he also believes it possibly deadly) indulges in a kind of conditional suicide pact. Lewis says, re. Milton, “Adam fell by uxoriousness.” He would rather die with her – and deliberately sin to do so – than to chance her dying alone. Lewis generalizes this interestingly: Adam is at “that moment when we resolve to treat some lower or partial value as an absolute – loyalty to a party or a family, faith to a lover, the customs of good fellowship, the honour of our profession, or the claims of science.”

    Could ithe Fall be seen as the “sin of Adam” because when the man Adam also sins then the totality of then discernably existing human beings (two, in Gen. 3) – or “ADAM” (Gen. 1:26) – have all, personally sinned.

    There is no radically sinless human being till the Incarnation of the “second Adam” (‘Ineffabilis Deus’ underlines this, the Theotokos was declared explicitly dependent on the Savior of the whole human race (including herself), though uniquely in detail), and He remains sinless (as the first man Adam could and should have, but did not).

  35. kjd says:

    Eve argued with Satan. She was overwhelmed by his arguments and without support from her husband. What I find interesting is that Adam waited until Eve ate. “Hey! It didn’t kill her!” So he ate too.

    I don’t see this as a suicide pack or attempted murder. The serpent had twisted God’s words for Eve. Her husband was silent. And note that the serpent told the truth, just not all the truth: you will be like God (in that you will now know both good and evil). You will not die (physically, at this moment). If Adam and Eve actually understood what “die” meant, and I cannot see God giving a command they couldn’t understand, then Adam could be seen as watching Eve after she ate to make sure she didn’t die, before he risked a taste.

    St. Thomas Aquinas may have been the smartest man who’s lived, but even he had his hangups. His attitude towards women was deplorable. All through the Summa you see this shown. He asks whether we could say God made a mistake when He made Eve. Well, logic would say, the question is turned around — you make a new model when the old one is flawed! So, did God make a mistake when He made Adam? (And corrected it with Eve!) Unfortunately, the Church listened to Thomas on this point and we have John XXIII, as a seminarian, afraid to look at his own mother! I’d not use his poor biology for arguments (or do you, when you want a son, make sure not to have sex when the wind is blowing from the south?).

    God created Man in His own image, male and female He created them. Each has some of the image of the Godhead that the other doesn’t. If we could stop putting down the other half (whether male or female), maybe we could all accept that God has good reason for making only men priests and only women mothers, and it is not because one sex is better or worse than the other.

    • David says:

      I do not see that your reading (in your first two paragraphs) is any less possible than Milton’s, or his than yours. (I do think if Adam knew what “die” meant, he could also imagine a delayed effect: but, if he did so, he might dismiss that consideration, too.)

      I am not so well acquainted with Hebrew (or Greek or even Latin) to know if “wati(N)TÊN GHAM leIESHà” – “and gave also to her man/husband” – (“kai edooken kai tooi andri autees ” and “deditque viro suo”) in Genesis 3:6 in any way suggests a time-lapse, etc. between verses 1 through the first part of verse 6 and this clause, or suggests no time-lapse (etc.). It seems people have interpreted it both ways (Milton did know Hebrew).

      Looking up ‘seducere’ in a dictionary, I saw it also means “to lead apart”, “separate” (St. Paul’s Greek verb – forms of ‘eksapataoo’ – does not have this range in the dictionary I checked, but I do not have enough of a feel for Greek to know, really). I wonder if this may have influenced any interpretations: in the line of, ‘the Serpent led her apart, physically separated her from her husband – which is why we do not hear anything of or from him till this clause of verse 6 – after which, without fear of interruption, he managed to lead her astray in her thinking by his subtle (because selectively true) persuasion’? But I would not expect this to influence Milton, yet in his retelling, he has the Serpent talk to Eve in isolation.

  36. Dismas says:

    David,

    You have NO IDEA what you’ve just given me. I always knew that Jesus and Mary’s life starting with the Annunciation is a complete and literal ‘mirror image’ undoing of the fall of Adam and Eve. Being slower than most, I’ve struggled thinking about this off and on for years and tried to figure it out, but something was always wrong, I’d always get lost somewhere and couldn’t quite get my mind around it or put my finger on it.

    SHAZAM, in one sentence you solved part of the riddle for me:

    ‘that Eve was brought forth from Adam without loss of his virginity.’

    REJOICE, ALLELUIA, you’ll just never realize! Feeling a little stupid, but finally enlightened.

    Huge thanks!

    • David says:

      You’re welcome! I am delighted to have done something so good, unexpectedly! (I still have not read all of ‘Cur Deus Homo’, but am glad I have read some, and look forward to reading more.)

  37. Jacquelyn says:

    Thank you for the post. It reminds me of the terms Ambassador for Sins versus Whistleblower. I also view Adam and Eve as symbolical figures God uses to teach us about His creation, human nature and sins, rather than looking for DNA evidence. The Garden of Eve represents Heaven. God wants us to see how staying outside of His garden is like. Yours Truly.

  38. Carmon says:

    Was Eve’s sin eating the apple – or giving it to Adam to eat? The text does not say that Eve was commanded not to eat the apple. The command was given to Adam prior to Eve’s creation. As well God does not condemn Eve to death “dust to dust” as he does Adam.

    • It is not clear in the Genesis text exactly how God accounts Eve’s sin. However indirectly we can deduce that her own self description is accurate enough for God does not challenge her on the description. She says, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” We do not usually reckon being deceived as a sin, however we ought to remember that Adam and Eve had superior intellects and hence she may have born some responsibility for letting herself be deceived. St. Paul says of her: And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Tim 2:14)

  39. Olga says:

    Please read the following with an open mind. We are to study the word to show ourselves approved, and the scriptures tells us of all truth and declares the Truth!

    Adam did not abide by GOD’s will. The LORD’s prayer comes to mind with the Genesis 1-3 account, “on earth as it is in heaven”. Adam was created in a “glorified body” state from the mist of the ground of Chapter 2 that is different from the “man” that was created in the previous chapter. The LORD God gave the commandment to Adam to not partake from the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil PRIOR to LORD God making Eve. Adam was also made AWARE of all of creation prior to Eve.

    LORD God put Adam in a deep sleep and placed in him the flesh be the “Lucifer-light bearer” for the world, and to be the High Priest of the kindred of Gen 1. He failed GOD’s will because once he was in the flesh, he couldn’t not resist the temptation of the flesh and partook of the fruit that was offered to him by Eve.

    Now what is the fruit? You’ll see that the LORD God had created Eve from the rib, (dna) from Adam. She was created from the same (glorified body) state prior to Adam being “closed up the flesh” by LORD God. She remained in this (glorified body) state when she was help meet for Adam was now in the flesh. They were both naked and unashamed.

    Adam rebelled against God’s will that he was placed in the garden to dress it and keep it–to keep what he learned and to REMEMBER the commandment before he was put into a deep sleep. However being in the flesh and unable to resist temptation, he fell into sin becoming Satan (the enemy of God’s will). Why otherwise was Eve not shocked or surprised when the serpent was speaking to her? He was familiar to her and I would even say, she was comfortable around him. Why would this be? This is because the person she was with, she felt connected to: bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. Adam is the Serpent presented in Gen. Chpt. 3. He was more subtil than any beast than the LORD God made because he had the Spirit of God.

    Adam twisted God’s command into Eve to believe a lie. Once she saw that she didn’t die once she touched the fruit, took it and ate it- then offered it to Adam. Satan is a liar, deceiver, and murder from the beginning. Satan is the devil that murdered Eve’s spiritual state. The devil, God’s enemy is Adam.

    To answer what the fruit is, it is a sexual act. LORD God commanded Adam to not partake of the tree. That is why once they did have a sexual act, they hid themselves amongst the “trees” (other angel that fell for trying to hide Adam’s sin) and covered their genitals with aprons made of fig leaves.

    Once the LORD God confronted Adam, he blamed LORD God for the woman, she blamed the serpent. The curse placed upon them clearly indicates the fall of humankind. Adam in the flesh died within the day as promised (1 thousand years is but a day to the LORD). Eve was offered redemption because she had faith in the LORD’s promised seed. I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.

    It is scientific fact that the wom(b)man gene is the dominant gene over the male gene. And a good reason why the definition of Eve’s name is the mother of all living. And a good reason why Mary was the mother of Jesus. Her dominant genes along with the Holy Seed did our Savior come.

    Praise be to God Almighty that Jesus being in the flesh, tempted by the flesh, overcame the flesh and we are able to return to the glorified state as always willed and ordained. We too, having the anti-christ within us in the form of dna, can overcome the flesh through the grace of GOD and the power of the Holy Spirit. He can and will change you if you firmly have FAITH in the Word and REMEMBER.

  40. khandi says:

    Did God ever command Eve to not touch the tree? or eat of it? Or was this command to keep the garden only Adams? If so then when Adam disobeyed one by not stopping her and follow in her footsteps he committed multiple sins

  41. Randy says:

    Why is it called Adam’s sin? Because when God created them (chapter 5) He created them male and female and called them “Adam” or “Man” or “Mankind”. They were one.
    What I find interesting is that God employs Adam to name the beasts and creatures, but no mention of God inviting Adam to name his wife. What is Adam’s reply, before the “fall”?
    “Bone of my bone… ‘I’ shall call her “woman”.
    Well, isn’t that odd?
    Chapter 5 tells us that God named them “Adam”.
    Adam spoke division.
    “Then” the law came: “Do not eat”
    And sin sprang to life (for sin was “already” in the world) and ensnared them.

  42. Randy says:

    “A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two of them shall be one” (Gen 2:24).

    You’ve forgotten an important part of the text: “Because of this” a man shall….

    Because of what?

    Did not Adam separate the two with his words? “I shall call her woman” when in Chapter 5 God says He called them “Adam”.?

    Gen 2:24 is speaking of the mystery that is spoken of in the New Testament in regards to Husbands and Wives being “one flesh”.

    Gen 2:24: Is a foreshadow of what is and what is to come. Namely, it is pointing to the above nature of man divided, the fall to come, and the salvation.

    For this reason: Jesus (a man) left his mother Mary (Woman, this is now your son, Man, this is now your Mother) and His Father (For I must “return” to my Father) and cleave to His wife (The Bride/The Church/You and I) so that we can stand before God and not be ashamed.

  43. Renaldo says:

    Consider this: Adam became passive because woman was first on this planet. Adam cast his first wife Lilith from the Garden because she did not obey him, insisted on topping him, and fornicated with animals away from him. Thus overtime, he became passive and near submissive. Consequently, he neglected her and the garden–his home given to him to guard and be the caretaker of all creatures in it. It was his neglect of not by not watching his wife, commanding her and caring for her which created the Sin of Adam. Eve followed to be a wife and companion for Adam. Adam’s sin brought forth death and Eve’s sin by biting into the apple given to her by the serpent Lilith and shared with Adam brought forth knowledge of good and evil.

    So goes the Jewish Folk Tale

  44. Dg Baker says:

    Why two Adams? What makes one like the other? What is the same about them? Look for the shadow of the other.

  45. Art says:

    Interesting. I’d like to be able to read the original text, not a translated version.

  46. Beautiful Beet says:

    The woman challeged the demi-urge- the evil overlord- and he was spiteful. Hers was not sin. Adam, on the other hand, simpered before the evil one, blaming her. THAT is sin.

    Eve is brave in the face of death. She loves knowledge. Remove her curse so that she may remove Adam’s curse in her grace and forgiveness.

  47. Chinyere Onwuka. says:

    Wow! Thanks to all of u whose comments are here. I am satisfied.

  48. Annette Strachan says:

    God made Eve from Adam: Of Adam – is Adam.

  49. PAUL SAMUEL UKEDONOJO says:

    IT IS ADAM’S FAULT THAT CAUSE SATAN TO DECEIVE EVEH. BECAUSE HE FAIL TO CARRY OUT HIS HEADSHIP. IF YOU ARE EVEH, MY COUNSEL TO YOU IS THAT: NEVER YOU LOVE ANYTHING TOO MUCH. SAMSON FALL IS ALSO DUE TO TOO MUCH LOVE HE HAS TO DELILAH JUDG 16:6-25.

  50. Brenda says:

    Eve was deceived by the serpent but the knowledge of the tree of good/evil was given to Adam and he knowingly participated in eating of it’s fruit. Plus in the marriage union the man is the head of the household and of the wife. It would be like Christ allowing his church to talk him into something he knew was clearly wrong. Man is the head of the household as Christ is the head of the church. So yes she is guilty of being deceived by the serpent but it should have stopped there. Makes one wonder what would the world be like if Eve ate of the fruit but Adam hadn’t?

  51. pmartin says:

    The many comments show the effect feminism has on our politically correct society that nothing is ever a womans fault. When we say Eve did not sin, we are immediately saying God judged in error and punished her unjustly. God did not accuse Adam for not stopping Eve but judged each according to their own act. We assume that the serpent was having a regular conversation with Adam standing holding her hand. This communication with Eve could have been the same “mental” temptation that satan uses against us today and Adam heard nothing. We say Adam was given the commandment and that makes him guilty yet there isnt a pastor out there that will take responsibilty of what his congregation does after the sermon he gives, Werent you given a commandment to preach the Gospel? Are you responsible them after you have done so? Then how is Adam responsible for Eves sin simply because he was told the commandment first?? Eve quoted the commandment just as Adam received it so to say she “misunderstood” or Adam misquoted shows a poor attempt to deflect. This is why todays women commit heinous crimes, destroy families and their own lives and we search high and low to blame an “Adam” to relieve her of guilt…rather than looking at the fault in Eve and teaching women not to repeat her fall.

    If we so strongly feel that Adam should have controlled Eves behavior then you housewives should immediately turn control of everything to your husband, be totally submissive and ask him permission before you act. For you feminized men, you call Adam weak but is afraid to dicsipline your teen age daughter let alone tell your wife who she can associate with. Instead of “empowerment” seminars for women, they should be for men only. Are you raising your boys to stand up for themselves even against women or are you teaching him (Adam) that being a gentlemen means passively letting women(Eve) control situations? We are hypocrites.

    • P.Fox says:

      to pmartin, I hear some really woman-hating tones in this reply, do you know here in Australia, more women die every year from domestic violence from their partners/husbands than from breast cancer. Men are still the most powerful and wealthy the world over, more women live in poverty than men. Honor killings are generally done to kill the female. Your tone and message is clearly out of context and nothing to do with what happened in the garden of Eden. What is your idea of feminized men I wonder? You obviously support the more violent type!

  52. Rosie Berlanga says:

    I would like to add, that God created male and female in His image, in that He gave both male and female, communication, intelligence, and free will; in that we were created in His image. It is also believed, that God has both male and female characteristcs, with the male being the assembly and female the creator. It is also believed that the females (creators) are more in the likeness of God (creator), than men.

  53. robert says:

    The question is: If she ate an Apple or fruit, Why did God curse her reproductive organs?

    I think it was sex. Just like God tells us not to have sex before marriage, He simply told them not to until further notice.
    satan used the serpent, or what we might call the missing link, to seduce her. Adam knew better, but like Christ didn’t want to lose His Bride, Adam quickly took his wife’s sin upon himself to save her.
    She was deceived.
    He willfully did it, thus as head of the human race/nature/eartg, when he fell, evening under him fell.

  54. Mary says:

    The story is a metaphor. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge refers to the benefits/gains of our own human cleverness. Eating from the Tree of Knowledge was forbidden because it falls short of the Tree of Life. God knew that humanity, tasting it’s own limited knowledge would indulge it instead of pursuing the fruit of the Tree of Life, whole wisdom. It’s said that only the God can understand this total perspective because, being human, and walking around in this thing called life, we do not have ultimate or right perspective in our current, physical state (like Flatland). Because our brains and bodies filter reality, in the forms of sight, sound, touch, etc. to give us this certain experience to learn whatever we came to learn. In Hebrew, Adam means “man,” and Eve means “Life.” The masculine and feminine roles have also been described as such…the masculine representing the primal and the feminine representing the divine.They forever dance together, like a yin yang. Thus, the sin, or wrongfully living, committed in Genesis was mankind’s sin in trying to mimic life…thinking we could or should try to control it. Further, the Genesis story is not the beginning of humanity, but rather the beginning of the fall of humanity…the harnessing of light and the Agricultural Revolution (still happening today). Lucipher, afterall means “light bringer.” Notice, who in Genesis brings the light. There are two creation stories because one is the beginning of life in general and the other is describing the beginning of a different, wrong way of living.

  55. Ken Sheck says:

    Hi. Gen_5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

    I think that we as people have more separation towards each other thank we realize. I have not read all the comments so do not know if someone has answered this yet this way. But mankind is one person in scripture. There are two conditions, but still all one man. Like when a baby is born in the world the baby has a promise of becoming an adult, but the promise is not yet fulfilled so within the baby the promise is still dead or “sleeping”. This is the same idea for us spiritually when we see in scripture that we are considered “dead” IN Christ.

    Man is both male and female. The physical differences are too much in play in us when we think of Adam as being male only. Here is a reference from Genesis that says man is both male and female. Old KJV.

    Gen_5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

    As to God asking “adam” where are you, do we really think that God did not know where Adam was in the garden. What God was asking was if ADAM knew where he was now, after disobedience to God had entered in. And please, the story itself is a Parable, not a true single individual event.

    God bless. Ken

  56. Ellen Whiting says:

    Hello, I stumbled across this discussion somehow. I was floored by the “Exsultet” – I had never encountered this in any Christian church before (not being Catholic), but the Mormons have the same teaching. They say that God deliberately placed Adam in an impossible situation, giving him two contradictory commandments: #1- go and multiply and fill the earth, and #2- do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If Adam obeyed one commandment, he would have to break the other, and vice versa. So basically, the Mormons agree with Adam when he says it was God’s fault that he ate the fruit. Is that the logic behind the “Exsultet”? If not, then what is it, and why does it say that Adam’s sin against God was “necessary”? To me, that’s like saying that it was necessary for your kid to disobey you, run out into the street and get hit by a car, so you could implement your plan of taking him to the hospital. Am I missing something? Thank you.

  57. chad says:

    There is an order in creation simply look at the 4 living creatures which is another illustration of men having dominance over the human race. There is another scripture which says man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man. Also, the very reason in which Paul spoke of a woman not being allowed to teach men the things of God and the reason Paul gave for it resorts back to Genesis where he states the order in which God had created man first than woman. There is only perfect union when both acknowledge and submit to God’s order. Christ the Head, Man, Women, Children.

  58. Well, I believe that the reason the first sin is called the “sin of Adam” is because Adam was God’s first creation of mankind. He was the start of our ancestry. As you can see, in Genesis 2:17, God told Adam to not eat of the fruit of the tree even before God created Eve. Also, I get the feeling that Eve was of a lesser vessel to God ,than Adam,because Eve was made by God taking of Adam’s body. Moreover, Adam tells God that she is now “bone of my bones, and “flesh of my flesh”. So, to me that means that Eve is an extension of Adam. They are one entity. Adam is naturally the leader. Also, Adams say’s that “they are to be as one”. So, he is responsible for Eve’s doing and behavior, in a sense. So, when he saw Eve getting tempted, it was his responsibility to step in and tell Eve “No”. ” My father said that if we eat of the tree of knowledge, “we will die”. Moreover, he ate from the tree that God told him not to. When, Eve and Adam ate from the tree,they were considered to be “one” entity, not only, because Adam ate from the tree but also his extension, “Eve”, did also.

  59. Camilla Shepherd says:

    Also, when Adam and Eve, ate from the tree of knowledge, They opened the door to human suffering and sorrow. It was not God’s intentions for us to live in a corrupt and evil world. But,because of our own disobedience, we brought it on ourselves.That’s why the world is like it is,today.

  60. Just Kelly says:

    God (had) a plan, God (has) a Plan. God already knows the outcomes. Somethings are not for we children of God to know, and in questionings his intelligence constantly we shake the tree of life. )((Reason) is in question)), God already knew what was in Adam and Eves heart as does he in all of us. Many simply believe they pull the wool over Gods eyes, therefore (they who do) many times are a wolf in sheeps clothing hiding from their own truth. Leading a flock would be difficult when athuroity or the devine is in question. We have no way to hide our sins from God and if we knew, or know this simple truth, We would not fear what we do not understand.
    Truth is broad but nearly always simple. Reason is contemplation of truth yet still it has been said everything happens for a Reason. Mostly that reason is God. -The Serinity Poem is a good example- Simply – People (Peep-hole) the eyes of God, make all things harder then needs be. Literally Dieing is inevitable…But with out knowing of beginnings and ends humans would never experience gratitude and retain Lessons of life.

    • Just Kelly says:

      Why Place Blame on either? Why Not Except the Fact it Happened and Learn a Lesson of your own heart and reason? They were at that point united as one, we are all United as one under the Laws of God. The Law of God is Love, Kindness,Patients,Self-control, understanding, exceptance of others differences. It was a Lesson, a Lesson that is being taught as we revisit it time and time again, we all visit this lesson and take something from it. And in listening to eachothers thoughts, it does not make others Ideas wrong or right, it gives us better understanding of one another. I think God smiles every time we Listen and Learn.

  61. A Replier says:

    Why did Adam eat the fruit too? Were they starving? Was there an unknown conversation amongst the three? Did Adam hear the snake too? Was it a specific fruit, or was it because the talking snake was there?