On Gender and Genesis


Some time ago I listened to a CD of a priest talking about the Fall, and the common misperception that Eve is completely to blame for first eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and then giving it to Adam to eat. The priest pointed out a turn of phrase often overlooked in the the story: “The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. 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” (Genesis 3:6, emphasis mine).

The most cunning creature in the garden was debating with Eve what God had commanded and why, and Adam just stood there, saying and doing nothing. Was it cowardice? Negligence? Was he watching the game, oblivious to his wife’s difficulties? When God asks for an explanation, his response is shamefully weak: “The woman whom you put here with me — she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it” (Genesis 3:12). He not only shows his thoughtlessness, but throws both Eve, and to an extent, God Himself, under the bus. What happened to, “At last! Flesh of my flesh!”?

I do not recall that priest or the CD, but he spoke specifically of Adam’s call to guard and protect that which was given him within the Garden. This article from First Things uses a similar take on Genesis to expound on the impact of gender confusion and interchangeability within and without the liturgy. It is an interesting read, underscoring in new (to me) ways the order in Creation and the importance of the differences and complementarity between the sexes. Read it, and let’s discuss.

One comment

  1. […] I’ve mentioned before, I do not subscribe to the view that Eve alone was responsible for original sin. I also agree that […]

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