12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. (Gen 3:)
Adam and Eve committed the dastardly sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden, for which they (and we) were severely punished.
But who was the one, if in fact there was only one, who committed the sin?
Let's take a look at the scene and see if there is not a different perspective that can be taken. (I think you women are going to like this.) Please take note that I have left out verses I didn't consider applicable to this study. For the full version, check your Bible.
16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
1Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.
6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
16Unto the woman he [God] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17And unto Adam he said, Because thou 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; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Gen 2: & 3:)
Later, when punishment was being meted out, God confirmed that it was Adam He had told, giving no hint that He had warned Eve at all (verse 17).
All creation was cursed because of Adam since it was Adam who had been given the responsibility of passing on the laws that had been given him by his Creator [Eve was not actually created, but rather "birthed," (by caesarian section), you might even say she was "cloned" from Adam].
Because of Adam, everything went down the tubes. Because of Eve, you women experience pain in childbirth, and as I take it, you have the sorrow of having to raise rebellious little brats that pay no more heed to you than Adam did to God.
You women are also to harken unto your husband who is to have the rule over you because, though you did not sin in the same way that Adam did, your great, great, etc, Grandmother displayed her proclivity to be deceived.
Paul followed up this by stating:
Now it's obvious enough that women were not put under the headship of the man because he has the capacity to make wise decisions. It's that men dash in and make stupid mistakes (and sins) with his eyes wide open knowing full well that he is going to be punished to the 'nth degree.
And men are less likely to listen to the wiles of the devil, and the persuasion of wicked men (as described in 2 Timothy 3) as he is to be swayed by the wiles of a flirty woman.
Man was not given the preeminence because of his wisdom, he has proven that over and over throughout history. But since he was created first, he has to bear the responsibility for all the problems we humans must endure. And if you check out history, man has certainly fulfilled his job of creating calamity, and producing dire consequences for us all.
(Now, you know if I was a Theologian or a preacher I would not be showing my ignorance, but rather be making a firm statement that no one with any understanding of Scripture should challenge. So don't anyone say I am trying to be a Theologian! I'm far too uneducated to be accused of that transgression.)
I said above that, from the way I read Genesis, mothers would experience sorrow because of having given birth. But is there an exception to this? I'm sure there are a lot of women who can honestly say they have raised wonderful and obedient children. But we know full well that this is far from the rule.
No, it's not the rule, but let us see if there is an exception that is the rule.
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mat 1:)
26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:)
41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:)
Mary was a woman blessed by God with the honor of issuing forth the promised Messiah, the very Son of God. Mary was chosen, like Moses was chosen, like Noah was chosen, like Peter, John, Paul and all the other disciples were chosen. Mary wasn't special, nor even specially prepared for her given responsibility (as far as we know). But she was chosen.
The Roman Catholic church believes that Mary herself had some form of "Immaculate Conception," that is somehow Mary was born without "Original Sin" as is everyone else. (Where they get that doctrine from, I have no idea, but I reckon it must come from some sort of extra biblical tradition.) The reason they believe this, which is logical (and merely a conjecture on my part), is they believe she is the physical embodiment of the Ark of the Covenant, and more to the point, they believe if Mary wasn't sinless, then she would have passed on Adam and Eves sin nature, and that just couldn't be if Jesus was to be born "without sin."
A problem with this concept is, if Jesus did not have any of the sin nature that we have, then His life, His death, and especially His temptation in the wilderness would not be something we humans could relate to, since we do have that sin nature.
The Protestant churches discount Mary's immaculate conception, but they give no other explanation (that I know of) for Jesus' sinlessness which they consider essential for Him to be both completely man, and completely God.
In other words, Jesus was someone none of us could possibly relate to, yet that is exactly what we are to do, that is, follow His example.
That surely does create a problem, does it not?
In the Christmas Story we see that Jesus was to come forth from a virgin. Now we all know that is impossible, and therefore, should such an event occur, it would be a miracle.
Yet, even should such a thing occur, the mother would still have to bear the burden of dealing with the young, rebellious scamp that inherited the nature of Adam and Eve.
Yet, as described above, it appears that the child Mary raised was obedient and did all He was required to do as an obedient and submissive son.
Except for once, at the Temple at the age of twelve. However, even this time, Jesus was not being disobedient or rebellious - far from it. What was it He said?
And who was His Father?
But, just a moment, who was it that came to Mary and overshadowed her?
Absolutely perfect; except for one thing - Mary's sin nature that she inherited from her parents.
And if Mary has a sin nature, that would also mean her children would have her sin nature, would it not?
Mary also had blond hair, again I am just-saying.
Mary was unusually short and inherited her parent's tendency toward being exceptionally thin.
Joseph, on the other hand had coal black hair and eyes, and like his parents tended toward obesity.
Mary was kind, gentile and soft-spoken.
Joseph was loud, boisterous and demanding.
Mary and Joseph had 12 children. What do you suppose the boys were like? What do you suppose the girls were like?
Considering what we know from history and science we would expect the boys to be much like their father, and the girls would be fairly similar to their mother.
"The apple does not fall far from the tree" as the saying goes. Nor does, I suppose, the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
But Joseph wasn't His father, so He would have taken on none of Joseph's characteristics. He would have taken on His true father's characteristics. And who was His Father? Of course it is God Himself!
But that helps us little to nothing at all since we do not know Jesus' Father. So, let's learn a little about the Father of Jesus.
First, if we are familiar with the Bible at all, we know that God is love, that He is fair, and that He will chastise those of His children who disobey Him.
So we would assume Jesus also has those qualities.
Let's see if Jesus told us anything about His Father.
God is a Spirit. That, I take it means that Jesus is Spirit also if He has taken on the characteristics of His Father.
And if Jesus has the nature of God, then He had no sin, isn't that right?
But, what about His mother? Although Jesus was Spirit, therefore sinless; He was also flesh (John 3:6; Luke 24:39), and through the flesh of His mother He inherited Adam's sin, did He not?
Let's look into the Garden again and see what happened there.
But through Eve neither death nor the penalty for sin was transmitted, other than sorrow of childbirth and subjection to her husband; neither of which has anything to do with our sin nature or our death sentence.
Add to this what Paul said:
Of course, that is asking a lot of a woman, and certainly of a child as well. But was there such a child?
Your know what I'm going to say.
Women are used as examples of bad churches, such as the Harlot of Revelation (her badness transmitted to her by Adam, that is man, I'm sure). And women are also used to exemplify God's own Church as well.
But that is another study not to be undertaken at this time.
9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, (Mat 6:)
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:)
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