Blaming Eve. Again.

Adam and Eve, St Vitus Cathedral
Adam and Eve St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Orthodox Christianity has blamed Eve for the “fall” of humanity from grace to sin, life to death. This lovely mosaic high on the outside walls of St. Vitus Cathedral repeats and reinforces this tragic view of blaming the first woman, Eve, the mother of all living. My apologies for this “awkward” shot, but I was stunned to see how direct and graphic this interpretation of Genesis 3 and the temptation of Adam and Eve is in all its glory. Notice the serpent gives Eve its full attention, she handles the fruit, and seems to be stretching out her arm to give this fruit to her husband, Adam. Both individuals were spoken to, and both ate of the fruit. Adam is just as responsible as Eve. As I have written elsewhere (Silence of Adam, Zondervan) Adam may be more at fault because he reintroduces chaos into his innocent Eden and our fallen world. And as a side note, remember that the serpent actually told the couple the truth, the full truth that Yahweh would not reveal. “Because God knows that on the day you eat from the tree your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And the result? Instant death? Hell? No. The result was that their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked. This is an ancient story that concerns itself with human beings moving from innocence to knowledge even though the price is disobedience and subsequent punishment. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” As I teach my students, essentially the humans wanted the “good,” the “beauty,” and the “wisdom.” So the story in many ways, the story of human failure and redemption actually begins in Genesis 3 where both husband and wife, Adam and Eve partake of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.