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I was attending a training session for counseling men and the person presenting the material (it was a video and I don't recall the person's name) put forth the idea that Adam was present with Eve when the serpent tempter her. His claim was that Adam was there but never spoke up during the whole conversation between Eve and the serpent. I find this difficult to swallow. It seems to me that if this is the case then Adam sinned before he he partook of the fruit by not fulfilling his role as husband and leader. I have looked at a few commentaries on the passage and most address the result of the fall and the consequences of Adam's sin but none specifically address where Adam may have been during the exchange between Eve and the serpent. I have been asked to head up this counseling program which is geared toward unsaved men in a crisis pregnancy center. My concern is that teaching this material will give a false understanding of original sin.
This is the first time I have run across this take on Gen. 3 so I would be interested in any suggestions for research. I am aware that the serpent's use of plural when addressing Eve (you, your etc.) could indicate that Adam was present but the text indicates that Eve and the Serpent were the only ones there.
Thanks for any input
Don

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Thanks to all. This discussion has helped me to think through this whole thing and I am glad to have people question my explanations because it helps me to better articulate my position. It happens that we are studying this on our Sunday evening service and it will help me to explain the points of view when we get to this passage in a few weeks.

A. D. Hodson said:
Hey, getting nutty comments and being misunderstood is part of communicating man, I for one am glad that you posted the question and have been helped by the input.

I think you are right on in pointing out that God is the one that defined the sin here and all God said was that Adam disobeyed Him! I think this statement is right on by the way: "My point is that we don't have any specifics about this except what is in the text so we need to be careful how we interpret what happened." It is very bad hermeneutics to add or to take away form anything within the text, and the fact is this text is not clear so we do need to be carefully not to take it and use for counseling just because it fits! I think you should keep your reservations (while considering well all the input)!

Don Rapp said:
I am not sure that this is the proper venue for me. It seems that what I say is taken out of context at every turn. I am in no way attempting to seperate Adam's original sin and his role as husband and leader the two are inexorably connected. There is no indication in the text as to what was going on in his mind or what motivated him. That is my contention here. We don't know whether Adam was attached at the hip with Eve or not. Adam's role as a husband and leader was wrapped up in that sin but God defined the sin as disobedience to Him in Gen.3:17. I am not defining Adam's sin God is. My point is that we don't have any specifics about this except what is in the text so we need to be careful how we interpret what happened. That was the reason I posted my original comments. I think however, in trying to state my concern in brief that I may have caused some misunderstanding. For that I apologize.

Dr Mike said:
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Adam really was right there, joined at the hip with Eve. And that he failed as the head of his family by not forcefully preventing her from eating the fruit. OK, but then the passage goes on to say that Adam did not fall until he disobeyed and ate of the fruit, so God was OK with Adam being a failure as a leader of his home but not OK with his disobedience.

Lesson for our lives (men): It's OK in God's eyes to fail as a leader in the home as long as you are obedient to other, more important things.

Seems logical to me.

Don Rapp said:
I agree with the fact that Adam was a failure in his role as a husband and leader but that is secondary to original sin. It is clear from the passage that Adam's sin in God's own words was a failure to obey His command not to eat of the fruit. Adam's failure and the subsequent problems men and women have had are a direct result of Adam's sin. My issue isn't with teaching about man's failure in his role as husband and leader it is about using the right text when we do it. I think we are more in danger of leading people astray with our teaching when we try to force a passage to make a point that isn't clearly there.
Joshua Allen said:
Don, tell me if you agree with this:

Adam's sin (the original sin) was a failure in his role as husband and leader. Instead of being strong and exhibiting leadership as was God's intention for man in the family, Adam weakly allowed his wife to lead, and thus overturned God's purpose for the family, as well as man's relationship to God. This is true regardless of which interpretation of the passage you use. If you plan on teaching anything differently to your men, I respectfully argue that you will be leading them wrong.
It wouldn't be any fun if there weren't some dissenting views. That is what keeps us all thinking.

Dr Mike said:
If you're hoping for a place where there will be no off-the-wall, unorthodox, or ridiculous responses, then, yeah, you're not only in the wrong venue but on the wrong planet.

On the other hand, there's a lotta meat on the bones around here. If you want the meat, you'll have to spit out the bones - and, yes, sometimes there are more bones than meat. But if you want everything served up boneless for the ease of your consumption, then, again, you're in the wrong place.

Hope you stick around but, if you don't, good luck finding El Dorado.

Don Rapp said:
I am not sure that this is the proper venue for me. It seems that what I say is taken out of context at every turn. I am in no way attempting to seperate Adam's original sin and his role as husband and leader the two are inexorably connected. There is no indication in the text as to what was going on in his mind or what motivated him. That is my contention here. We don't know whether Adam was attached at the hip with Eve or not. Adam's role as a husband and leader was wrapped up in that sin but God defined the sin as disobedience to Him in Gen.3:17. I am not defining Adam's sin God is. My point is that we don't have any specifics about this except what is in the text so we need to be careful how we interpret what happened. That was the reason I posted my original comments. I think however, in trying to state my concern in brief that I may have caused some misunderstanding. For that I apologize.
Have you had Contemporary English 101 yet?

[assume smily, winky emoticon here]

David Oldham said:
One can dissent all they want...
"Because thou [singular...God speaking to Adam alone] hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife..." Yes, He wasn't including Eve here because they didn't live in Massachusetts.

David Oldham said:
What did God say was Adam's sin? Verse 17, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou [singular...God speaking to Adam alone] hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"
Yeah, that passed through my mind. Contemporary colloquial English.

xulon said:
Sounds very contemporary, if you ask me.

Marv said:
Have you had Contemporary English 101 yet?

[assume smily, winky emoticon here]

David Oldham said:
One can dissent all they want...
Dincha see the emoticon? No wait, it was only described.

Gotta admit it was more than a little on the naughty side. But couldn't didn't resist the riposte having recently been lectured on the significance of number in personal pronouns.

I also admit to slight rankling at your earlier paragraph, which doubtless was meant in good humor but was apparently mistaken this end for being en eensy weensy bit patronizing. To wit:

'While it looks like Satan is addressing Eve alone, the pronouns tell you he was addressing a plurality. Elizabethan English 101. Singular pronouns: thee, thou, thine. Plural pronouns: ye, you, your. Th = singular. Y = plural. Where I see your use of "we" doesn't require the presence of more than one person, the pronouns tell a different story. Modern English doesn't have this accuracy so we aren't used to it."

...not to mention being erroneous.

David Oldham said:
And the personal stuff is for what purpose?
I think we can all agree that the sin committed was the act of disobedience. God never said anything about Adam's physical location or if he attempted to stop Eve from eating the fruit. He made it quite clear that sin was committed by being disobedient to His command.

Another point I would like to bring to the table is when you enter into a dialogue with the tempter, your focus automatically shifts from God to the tempter, which is what obviously happened to Eve. Remember her reply to the serpent when he asked her if God really said she will die if she ate the fruit from the tree. She misquoted "the Word" when she said, "God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." One could speculate that Eve was mesmerized by the idea of becoming like god, knowing good and evil which was the knowledge she did not have before committing the sin of disobedience. Unfortunately, she and Adam both learned this knowledge the hard way.

Peace in Christ
The part in bold makes me confused.

Am I the only one missing the connection between Adam and the role of husband (that he apparently failed miserably at)? Can somebody throw me a verse or two?




Joshua Allen said:
Don,
The part in bold below makes me happy. :-) Thanks for the clarification. Adam's original sin was also inexorably intertwined with his willful decision to choose death. In a single sinful act, Adam committed total rebellion.
The garden story is the most dramatic example of man's failure to uphold his role as husband and leader in human history. It would be a shame to shy away from that aspect of the story when teaching young men.

Note that we have some clue about Eve's motivations: we know that Eve saw the fruit as "desirable for gaining wisdom" but it's unclear whether or not Adam also knew about this ancillary benefit before eating.

Don Rapp said:
I am not sure that this is the proper venue for me. It seems that what I say is taken out of context at every turn. I am in no way attempting to seperate Adam's original sin and his role as husband and leader the two are inexorably connected. There is no indication in the text as to what was going on in his mind or what motivated him. That is my contention here. We don't know whether Adam was attached at the hip with Eve or not. Adam's role as a husband and leader was wrapped up in that sin but God defined the sin as disobedience to Him in Gen.3:17. I am not defining Adam's sin God is. My point is that we don't have any specifics about this except what is in the text so we need to be careful how we interpret what happened. That was the reason I posted my original comments. I think however, in trying to state my concern in brief that I may have caused some misunderstanding. For that I apologize.

You have to be thinking in some sort of complementarian mode. The husband was set up as the Head of House. His duty was to protect his wife by giving her the commands and blessings of the Lord and watching over the home. When his wife went off and was trapped by the Serpent it proves that he didn't do his job. The Lesson for Young Men is that as husbands and future heads of house, they are to properly care for their wives protection in all areas in the model of the Second Adam.

As an egalitarian you probably have to view it in another way, failure of fully loving one another or something like that. So the story would educate man's failure in being in a supportive co-regent role with his wife by not standing by her side and collectively fighting off the Serpent. Or something wacked like that. Crazy egalitarians.

Raquel said:
The part in bold makes me confused.
Am I the only one missing the connection between Adam and the role of husband (that he apparently failed miserably at)? Can somebody throw me a verse or two?
For serious, Rey.

To insert a moral [of the story] that isn't presented Biblically makes sense some how? We don't look at David and go, "he was the most dramatic failure of a husband throughout all space and time." Why? Because that #1 spot was already taken by Adam? For serious. I do not get it. Just as telling David's story wasn't about THAT, I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how Adam's story is about it either.






Rey Reynoso said:
You have to be thinking in some sort of complementarian mode. The husband was set up as the Head of House. His duty was to protect his wife by giving her the commands and blessings of the Lord and watching over the home. When his wife went off and was trapped by the Serpent it proves that he didn't do his job. The Lesson for Young Men is that as husbands and future heads of house, they are to in like manner care for their wives protection in all areas.
As an egalitarian you probably have to view it in another way, failure of fully loving one another or something like that. So the story would educate man's failure in being in a supportive co-regent role with his wife by not standing by her side and collectively fighting off the Serpent.
Or something wacked like that.

Raquel said:
The part in bold makes me confused.

Am I the only one missing the connection between Adam and the role of husband (that he apparently failed miserably at)? Can somebody throw me a verse or two?
The story doesn't have to be about that to have ramifications that are about that. People read the story of David and Bathsheba and know it's about David sinning--but they also see that David was in the wrong place and the right time; did everything possible to conceal his sin; had to be called out with a shepherding story to realize how utterly wrong he was. That doesn't make those secondary lessons non-existent, though.

Plus, the Bible does this sort of thing all the time. What's the moral of the Esther story? The Ruth Story? Why is Numbers structured the way it is? Indeed, none of these stories say "This story is about THIS" but they let the lessons speak on their own.

You have to ask, why does the book of Genesis continue dealing with families, and even family failures? Abraham lies an says his wife is his sister and Pharaoh marries her. He does it again with Abimelech. His son does that to Rebekah with another Abimelech. The story may not even be about The Sin and Fall of Man but rather The Redemption of Man Via the Working of God--but it still tells all those other stories.


Raquel said:
For serious, Rey.
To insert a moral [of the story] that isn't presented Biblically makes sense some how? We don't look at David and we go, "he was the most dramatic failure of a husband throughout all space and time." Why? Because that #1 spot was already taken by Adam? For serious. I do not get it. Just as telling David's story wasn't about THAT, I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how Adam's story is about it either.
meh.

There's a difference between the obvious secondary lessons that are interwoven within the story as compared to the ones that we weave in.

Adam failed as a husband here? Because... he should have stopped Eve? He shouldn't have followed her lead? He should have kept a close eye on her because she hadn't yet mastered the force? And then Adam is disciplined how by God? For what again?

David, on the other hand, looses a kid over his indiscretions. It is dealt with in the text. Abram hooks Pharaoh up with his wife and God throws in a plague or two. Again, dealt with in the text. It seems to me that when lines are crossed and God wants to teach a lesson, it's dealt with in the text.

Maybe I'm so egal that I can't see anything else. Or maybe I'm just dunce. Either way I just don't see it.

To me it's like talking about learning lessons from Joseph about how wrong that slavery is. Yes the noun (slavery) is in the text, but the lesson isn't. Not even in the ballpark.

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