“Why does Adam get blamed for causing sin when Eve was the first one to eat the fruit?”
This was queried to the girl’s Bible teacher last week at camp. (She was a great teacher!) Of course, my ears prickled and I started squirming as usually happens when the topic of women/Eve/original sin is broached in my hearing. It is a logical question, and I was proud of the young mind who thought critically about what she was being taught.
The teacher began her answer honestly. “I’m not really sure. So I’m going to give you why I think it may be. The Bible says the husband is the head of the wife, so it may be that Adam, as Eve’s head, was held responsible.”
Some girls began to chatter in response to that revelation. And I’m sure we all had a “hmmm…then that means our husbands get the blame for our sin?” look on our face because she quickly amended her guess with…
“But that doesn’t mean Eve wasn’t responsible for her own sin. The Bible says all people sin, and all people die as a result of that sin. But her husband, as a man, was ultimately the one to blame as her head.”
It was either the doublespeak that confounded them, or their middle-school brains sensed injustice but didn’t know where to begin to address it. I started jotting down the verses to help the teacher out of that double bind explanation. Here’s what my scribbled note read:
Why was Adam held responsible for the original sin and not Eve?
Adam willfully broke God’s covenant. He believed eating the fruit was wrong, yet he ate anyway.
- Adam broke God’s covenant. (Hosea 6:7)
- Adam knowingly disobeyed, and because of this he was held responsible. (Romans 5:14)
Eve was decieved by the serpent into eating. To be deceived means to believe something false. Eve believed eating was good, not wrong.
The next day in class, the teacher graciously corrected her answer from the day before with the verses from my note. I couldn’t help feeling relieved and optimistic. I pray we have a few girls who understand the quagmire of the Genesis creation order of roles a little differently now. At least, they know the Bible holds a different explanation than “husband is the head and has the responsibility for his wife’s actions” response so common in conservative evangelical churches.
For more on Eve and Adam’s sin, read my series on the Fall.