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Common Questions on Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve in the Garden painting: Wenzell Peter 1800 - 1829

I understand that Adam and Eve sinned, but why should I get punished?

Yes, this can be confusing. I did not eat the fruit off that tree, why should I be part of the blame? I was not even born!

You need to see mankind as God does.
Let’s take football. When a player on the line crosses over that line before the football is hut, it’s called offside and the penalty is 5 yards back. The referee does not send the player that committed the penalty back 5 yards, but the whole team. The referee does not look at the one player but the team as one unit. God does the same thing, he looks at mankind as one unit that sinned when Adam and Eve ate the fruit.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12

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Who gets the blame for original sin – Adam or Eve?

The Genesis account of the Fall indicates that Eve ate the fruit first. This has led many people to believe that she was the person responsible for original sin. God had told Adam not to eat from the tree, but Eve also had knowledge of this. Adam ate, but only after Eve. Even a New Testament passage seems at first glance to say the blame should be on Eve:

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 1 Timothy 2:13-14

However, Eve being deceived does not necessarily imply that she is to blame for original sin.  Eve was deceived while Adam knew full well what he was doing that his sin is worse and he should be blamed.  But the Bible never states that Adam’s sin was worse than Eve’s. Both were punished for their sin.

It is necessary to look at other passages in both the Old and New Testaments to understand why Adam is to blame for original sin rather than Eve.

Adam was created first from the dust of the ground and Eve was created from a rib taken from Adam’s side. From these verses and others in Genesis 1-3 it is clear that the husband was created to be the leader in the marital relationship and that the wife was created to be the helper. As the leader, it was Adam’s responsibility to protect and provide for his family.

This leadership role was clearly demonstrated when God talked with Adam and Eve following their sin. Even though Eve sinned before Adam, God questioned Adam first. This was because of the leadership role God ordained for husbands in marriage. Adam, as the leader of the family, was held responsible, not only for his own sin of eating from the tree, but also because he did not provide adequate protection for his wife, allowing her to sin.

The New Testament seems to back this up:

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For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12

Why did God create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as a temptation for Adam and Eve?

God demands love that is real. The only way to accomplish this is an option not to love. God did not create robots that are programmed to love God. Man had to choose to love God and the only way to choose to love God is a choice made available not to love God.  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil provided that choice.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17

Written by Doug Velting

Doug has a heart for kids and has taught elementary and Junior high students biblical creation for over 30 years.

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