The pros and cons of Eve-dropping

I think a footnote from another thread deserves a discussion of its own:

I haven’t read WLC’s book, but as someone else who mentions Adam more than Eve, I’m interested in a more general discussion of this.

Historically, seeing Eve’s role in the story has rarely elevated women. Extremely misogynous readings were extrapolated from how Eve was bested by a beast and ate first. Adam, meanwhile, was sometimes praised for selflessly sinning so Eve wouldn’t face punishment on her own, or derided for squandering his superior wisdom as he followed his inferior into sin. In church tradition, the text most responsible for putting down women is also the one that names both Adam and Eve (1 Timothy 2). From Genesis on, to name Eve is often to push her down.

Further, a focus on Adam and Eve perpetuates a focus on two individuals, a man and a woman. If we see Genesis 2–3 as being the story of Adam and Eve, we’re more likely to see it as ancient history and miss its relevance to ourselves – or limit that relevance to inheritance. It reads differently if we notice that, at least until the end, these chapters don’t refer to the characters by name. They are the mortal and the woman. When they are named, they are (roughly) Mortal and Life. (Incidentally, Genesis 5:2 is the only time Adam is given as a name, and it is God’s name for humans, not just one man.)

Within the story, the woman doesn’t portray women any more than the mortal portrays men. They both reflect humankind as a whole. To be more precise, the mortal depicts humanity, but when the mortal is divided into a woman and a man, these two allow a focused look at two sides of human interaction. The man shows how we relate to the world while the woman shows how we relate to each other. So when God speaks to the rebels, the words to the woman are about how men and women treat each other badly and children bring parents pain. To the man, God’s words show our fractured connection to the earth, both working it and returning to it. Neither work nor death is about men alone, just as neither gender warfare nor child-rearing is about women alone. Whether our labours produce children or food, they are riddled with pain and futility. But to still labour, knowing this, is to live towards a hope beyond our grasp.

I recognize that a man’s name, “Adam,” is a flawed shorthand for all the humanity in this account. But I don’t know that substituting “Adam and Eve” is any better. Like it or not (and I don’t), the Bible tends to use masculine shorthands. In Genesis God encounters Sarah and Hagar as well as Abraham, speaks to Rebekah as well as Isaac, listens to Jacob’s several women also. But the biblical shorthand is the God of our fathers – the God of Abe, Chuckles and Connor. God’s Spirit did not override a masculine bias in language and thought. The Bible both predicts and depicts that he will rule over her.

Rather than pretending this bias isn’t there, our knowledge of masculine shorthands can let us read them in ways that once again reveal the feminine. Just as we can also see women described by a text from the ’50s that speaks of every generalized person as ‘he’ and ‘man,’ so too we can choose to see the women in a patriarchal genealogy and the mothers of Genesis embedded in a reference to the God of our fathers. We can see the mortal and the woman of Eden collapsed into Paul’s words, “by one man.” And like David confronted by Nathan, we can discover that – whatever our sex – we are that man.

More mention of Adam than Eve doesn’t reveal a low view of women. I hope men don’t think they have an exclusive tie to Adam, and that women don’t think the Eden narrative only speaks to them through Eve. As such, women don’t win because Eve is the more developed character of the two, and men don’t win because Adam is present in more scenes (the woman fades from view at the expulsion as well as not being present at the beginning). If we can resist turning these two into the team names of a battle of the sexes, perhaps we’ll more easily see how both can speak to who we are.

In Scripture, both Elohim (generally translated “God”) and Yahweh (generally translated “the LORD”) reveal the one true God. Both Adam and Eve reveal humanity. Of each pair, God and Adam are the more generic terms. They tend to get used more. They are the catch-all terms. But just as you can’t judge a person’s theology by how often they say “God” without mentioning Yahweh, you can’t judge a person as sexist by how often they say “Adam” without mentioning Eve.

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Amen to that! Which makes Paul’s exhortation a curious one to me … that not only are categorical distinctions like ‘gentile’ and ‘Jew’ erased in Christ, but so also ‘male’ and ‘female’!

Which takes/makes your point, @Marshall, and almost runs with it too far? I don’t think Paul would want to insist there is no ‘femaleness’ and no ‘maleness’ to our identities, and yet this portrayal of the kingdom does seem to go exactly there!

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But I’d like to note that as a woman, it has been problematic for my spiritual development that throughout my entire spiritual formation Adam represents humanity and Eve represents what? Humanity’s helper? In a story that has a male and a female, it is just simply not the case that I automatically look exclusively to the male in the story to symbolize myself and my humanity. To keep insisting with Christian tradition that all of humanity is symbolized in Adam is dehumanizing to women and it denies the spiritual damage to women that this has done and continues to do.

I don’t think so. I think it keeps in focus the idea that humanity has a gendered element to it and corporate humanity is men and women, and male and female are God’s image.

True that it’s not about Adam being the universal male and Eve being the universal female, it’s about Adam and Eve being the universal humans. Humanity is incomplete without it’s feminine side and when Adam becomes the single universal human this has spiritual consequences for women who generally already have to live in societies men dominate where male is norm and female is other.

I have spent my whole life being told to read myself into the “masculine shorthand.” I would like men to take my word for it that I have tried really hard, and this is much more difficult than you guys think it is. Can you try to imagine for a minute if the situation were reversed and you had to spend your whole life reading yourself into feminine imagery and passages about sisters and women and generalizations about the spiritual condition of a “she”? You end up internalizing a spiritual inferiority complex that is then only accentuated by the men in your life who have internalized a spiritual superiority complex.

It doesn’t. But it is sexism in our theological conventions that could be addressed if addressing sexism was any kind of priority. It almost never is.

That’s not the problem. The problem is it encourages men to think that males have the more normative tie to humanity.

Choosing to see is different than just seeing. It is fundamentally unfair to keep making women do more cognitive work than men every time they try to understand fundamental things about humanity and people.

Honest question, have you ever as a man seen yourself as the woman who loved much, who poured the alabaster jar of perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair? Because we are all that woman. Would it require more effort to see yourself in her than say, Adam, or David, or Jesus, or the Good Samaritan, or the Prodigal Son? What if nearly all the images you were expected to see yourself in in order to understand how to relate to God and be human were feminine ones?

Agreed. But we could also agree that the system that gave us the convention of saying Adam as shorthand for humanity and treating Eve as invisible is a sexist system, and that system has hurt and continues to hurt women. And we could address that more if it was a priority. But it’s not.

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Good points … as a bald man, I do have trouble identifying there.

I do however find myself solidly in the characters of the Mary and Martha stories in how they related to Jesus. But stories with feminine role models are few and far between. So your points are well taken that we men still need constant reminders about the advantages we’ve always been able to take for granted in these respects.

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I have asked myself why Mary as the Mother of Christ, is not mentioned in these discussions? - since I was a child I have inevitably associated woman and motherhood with the highest example of womanhood, virtue and example of faith, Mary.

Man has taken a service (secondary) role for motherhood (woman).

I think the role of the man (husband) to protect and provide for the woman (mother) may have played to a power concept.

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Christy, I appreciate your response. You’re helping me see more of how my own words look from a different perspective, and that’s a gift. Please continue to push back where I’m still not getting it.

Yes, I see this. Is this something that is worse in our culture and language, or is the problem already in Genesis in Hebrew? Part of the reason I ask is that while Adam is a common boy’s name for us, in biblical Hebrew it doesn’t appear to have been a common name at all. Nobody else in the Bible has that name – just a city and our species.

To put it another way, do you see it equally damaging to say all of humanity is symbolized in Mortal / Human / Humanity or one of those other translations of adam? Is the problem that Adam for us is a man’s name, or is the inclusive use of the Hebrew word adam itself problematic?

I definitely agree that texts like Genesis 1:26–27; 5:1–2; 6:5–7; 9:6 call for a generic translation of adam such as “humankind”/“human.” It wouldn’t work to put “Adam and Eve” for adam the way we put “brothers and sisters” for adelphoi.

But I wonder how to point out how blurry it is from here to other texts where adam is a man’s name. What gets lost is that while Genesis just talks about adam in various ways, our translations turn some into “humanity” or “human” and others into “Adam” or “man” and most have no idea they’re all related. But I think I’m hearing from you that that confusion does much less harm?

I agree. Again, I see the problem as “Adam” and its connotations in our language rather than adam in the text. (I expect you’ve heard all of the following before, but please bear with me.) The Hebrew word adam does not mark gender though it is grammatically masculine. In Numbers 31, where thousands of young females are carried off as spoils of war, they are “32,000 adam in all, women who had not known a man” (:35). This isn’t just a word that can be used generically to include women. It’s not a word for men in the first place. Unlike ish (man) that pairs with ishah (woman), the most common pairing for adam is behemah (beast). It identifies species or kind, not sex. Among other words for humans, it draws out how we are mortal, not male.

So I totally get that when we see the name Adam we do associate it with one sex. But is there a way of communicating how, in the Bible and especially in Genesis, adam isn’t like that?

Yes, I try, and I also recognize that for me it’s just some minutes and not my whole life. That’s why, among other things, my God-language tends to be light on masculine pronouns. I still think current English has a nearly perfect pronoun for God that wasn’t available to the biblical writers: the singular ‘they.’

At seminary it was in a class on Mark that I started to see how the portrait of a disciple comes through more in women, most unnamed – Peter’s mother-in-law, the Syrophoenician woman, the anointer, the cluster of women revealed at the end – than in the group of named men called the Twelve. Jesus calls disciples to follow and serve. And Mark shows women often being the ones to do both parts while the men squabble about power.

So yes, I do see myself in these women, or at least I see what I aim to be as a follower of Jesus. To be honest, I probably don’t see myself enough in the Twelve, even though with their privilege and thickheadedness there’s a closer match.

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I want to push back here a bit, Christy - and also labor hard prevent this from being in the same toxic spirit that so understandably is triggering given how those from privileged positions have such a dismally long history of presuming to lecture those obliged to live without that same privilege. So - here is my opening pre-emptive labor to show my own spirit, such as it is - ready to receive correction at all points needed.

First of all, I repudiate and loath all such past arrogance where any privileged set (whether wealthy enjoying largely inherited circumstances who presume to think they understand the poor, as well as the racial or gender equivalent situations of the same) … where I have done that, I repent, and have long repented. So I do freely sit at your feet, ready to submissively listen to you (or any other woman or person I respect) as speaking the very words of Christ(y!), to me. In these respects, I totally and easily identify with Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus - with ears open, but not with mouth shut - as I feel certain that Mary would not have been silent in these exchanges. I don’t think Jesus would have tolerated any such silence, and would insist on hearing from her. So … Knowing that you generally have the strength and wisdom to push back and correct where needed, I’ll presume to offer up the following for learning purposes - even if all the subsequent learning needs to be my own.

I suggest that there is one significant way that women might have (and might have long had) a spiritual advantage over men that is (If I’m correct) even right there to be seen in the biblical narrative: And that is in the very posture that they have so internalized because it has been so thrust upon them, but … and this is key … not always as an externally imposed humility, but as a deliberately accepted and embraced posture in themselves probably because they’ve been obliged to practice this spiritual discipline much longer and much more than men generally have. Given the unfortunate cultural caste systems of Jesus’ day (and ours still), I don’t think it’s an accident (drawing on C.S. Lewis here I believe) that the church is labeled as the bride of Christ. And in this, it should be men’s turn to feel thoroughly awkward about what this is supposed to mean, if they but open their eyes to see it. Many men are willing to try to twist that into yet further “power squabbling” as they try to use it for confirmation of the male (Christ) being in charge over the submissive female … conveniently forgetting that the submissive role there applies to all of us. That the tragically convenient hierarchies of the culture were handy to drive that metaphor home, is in no way an endorsement of those systemic oppressions. Jesus occassionally gathering the “nobodies” of the culture around him (like children) was usually to point out to his privileged audience that the Kingdom of God already belongs to “such as these”, and that they are entering it ahead of you.

So I maintain that Jesus didn’t gather 12 men around himself because of their spiritual prowess, but because he tended to teach “to the bottom of the class”. They were the bone-heads who were most in need of remedial tutoring, who repeatedly failed to “get it”, and who - even after three years of one-on-one with the best teacher in the world, still miserably failed their final exams on that fateful Friday. And yet the teacher refused to close down the grading period and issue the report cards. Instead they are given re-takes. Again and again. It isn’t clear to me that the women around Christ weren’t the superior students. I actually think that Jesus always considered himself as obliged to be “on tiresome teacher duty” around the crowds and especially around his own 12 male disciples - and that he probably looked forward to his alone-time and (I think) may have considered his Mary / Martha / Lazarus visits to be a welcome retreat and respite for himself. His more advanced students don’t need nearly so much of his repeated remediations because in a very important way: they already get it.

It isn’t that women are inherently better than men … and yet … maybe on average they are - for whatever reasons. While so many Christian men are still (even today) busy squabbling over power and domination - eager to seize on any place where Paul says something they can use to reinforce their thirst for worldly-style dominion within their own families and religious communities, they fail to see how Paul applied the metaphor … that humble submission is the order of the day - for everyone! Which leads me to believe that men need to be learning more from the many women entering the Kingdom ahead of them, rather than the other way around. The spiritual leaders in families will be the ones who’ve abandoned their egotistical power squabbles to spend time instead sitting and learning at Christ’s feet. So in short … I do think men have some significant spiritual handicaps of our own that seriously undermine any true spiritual leadership so many men badly want to presume as some sort of ‘gender-right’.

None of this is a bid for sympathy or justification of persistent male toxicities - nor an attempt toward dismissal of the concerns of women about fair and needed power-sharing. All good stuff that we need to continue being discomfitted over. Nor is it me disagreeing with anything you’ve said about the larger distances women have been obliged to travel in order to find formational identity in and with all the messaging that comes embodied in such patriarchal packaging. It is only to suggest that perhaps the extra exercise unjustly thrust upon so many women has not been for naught, in terms of the resulting spiritual muscle development.

It is also me feeling safe enough to run-off at the mouth here, and then take on board whatever corrective responses I need to hear.

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I would love to see this happen… but so many men in my tradition seem fixated on Paul’s forbidding a woman to “teach a man” that I think they actually believe they should be very cautious about learning anything from women even if women were not actively trying to teach it to them.

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I think the problem is with how everyone has run with Paul’s choice to use Adam and Jesus as the second Adam to make a rhetorical point, and it got decided that Adam is all humanity and then that understanding got imposed back on the way we talk about the Genesis story. It’s like Paul ignored Eve in that one instance, so it licensed her invisibility for the rest of Christian history. I don’t think the problem is with the Genesis story, it’s with how we have dealt with the intertextuality of Scripture in forming our theological concepts. Adam and Eve are co-leading actors in Genesis. It’s our retelling as we “do theology” from the story that has been the problem. Under any name, you still have two gendered characters in a story about two people who together work the Garden that the man couldn’t work alone without a suitable counterpart.

I have never thought until this moment what it would be like to read Romans with Christ as the second Mortal or second Human. It would sound different. I’ve been reading the First Nations Version lately. (All proper names are translated, not transliterated.) It uses Red Clay and Life Bearer which aren’t gendered names in English. But, Paul is still specifically picking the male character from the creation account to stand in for all humans for his illustration because Jesus was a man, so whether it’s Adam or Red Clay or Mortal, the referent in Romans 5 is a male. Plus, in any language when nouns are used as proper names, it’s not like the semantics of the common noun are processed with every use of the name. I have a friend named Rose and when I hear her name used in context, I instantly process a specific female person as the referent and don’t think at all about a flower and I can’t think of a single time when I was confused about whether we were talking about her or a flower. So I think the original text would have been as clear to a Hebrew speaker as our translations that remove the ambiguity between adam/Adam by translating the first and transliterating the second. Similarly, I have a friend named Hunter and references to him don’t make me think about hunting, and when I hear hunter used as a common noun I don’t think of it as a gender-exclusive term just because it can be a man’s name. Even if my prototypical hunter is a man, there is no collocational clash when saying a woman is a hunter like there would be in saying a woman is a man.

I think the problematic thing about current English situation and the conventional usage in theological discourse of Adam = prototypical human is that we (the English-speaking language community) have moved conceptually away from other masculine inclusive words. ‘Men’ is no longer an inclusive synonym for people, it means ‘male.’ So the church’s stubborn refusal to adapt to language change is just sexist. I know I’m not invited to the men’s breakfast. But somehow, I was supposed to “read myself into” my church’s faith statement where “Jesus died to set men free from their sins.” Man or mankind are still sometimes used as inclusive collectives (though we have a perfectly good word ‘humanity’ that we could use instead now), but ‘a man’ doesn’t mean ‘a person’ in current English, it means ‘an adult male.’ So when we conceptually enforce Adam = a man = humanity through the way we talk about Adam, that gender-exclusiveness gets subconsciously imported on to humanity and it requires cognitive work on the part of women to include themselves. If the Christian culture’s mental prototype of human is male because we collectively forgot Eve existed, that’s going to be hard on women.

I think we do when we translate adam with a gender-inclusive collective like humanity. It’s not our usage of the collective in our discourse that is the problem, it’s our usage of the proper name in an intentionally symbolic way to talk about the collective.

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This post made me laugh because it has the longest politeness caveat ever. I promise I will not be offended now that you have composed a mini-novel to ensure my gracious reception of your communication. Thank you for recognizing my fragile flower state and trying to deal gently with me. You can be blunter if you want in ensuing conversation.

I think it is true that in many cultures the qualities that are associated with Christ-likeness and the fruit of the Spirit tend to be more linked to cultural constructs of femininity than to masculinity, and that does make orthopraxis harder for men in some ways. Mary VanLeeuwen backed this up with sociological and anthropological studies in her book My Brother’s Keeper, which is older but still very fascinating. It helped me empathize better with the struggles men have when their enculturation bucks against their sanctification in ways I don’t experience as intensely as a woman

But in this discussion I think we are talking about orthodoxy and how women cognitively access theological truth about redemption and the humanity, not how they virtuously live out faith.

Even if that is the case, you could make the same argument to say slaves were actually blessed by their enslavement, and then you are walking a fine line between seeing the silver lining and slavery apologetics. I don’t really feel blessed by sexism in the church or culture.

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To push back a bit there is a third category and yet slaves still need to obey their masters (two separate letters!). Women need to be submissive and quiet in church and so on. Of course if we stick to the 7 genuine letters and follow scholars in excising a few passages from Paul he is off the hook. Yet they are still in the canon written in his name.

It’s great for us moderns who agree with Paul’s egalitarian statements to see him as friend to our ideology but in the end, many other portions of the “Pauline” corpus can appear to render this a hollow platitude. How do we deal with this subject?

Vinnie

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You could read the thousands of pages of Evangelical feminist biblical scholarship on the topic. Paul really isn’t so bad. The early church wasn’t so bad. It’s what has happened since.

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It’s a good point, together with seeing the attention Jesus gave to those his society looked down on, whether Samaritans, tax collectors, children, women – even sinful women and gentile women. But even while this does elevate those marginalized groups, it can also codify their second-class status.

When we see that Jesus cared for the last and the least by how he cared for women, we may assume that in our day that must be women’s position as well. That can lead to trying one’s best to lift up women while still assuming they bear an inherent deficit. Of course there’s a ditch on the other side – insisting women face no societal barriers to full equality with men – but it’s tricky to acknowledge the enduring bias without haplessly entrenching it.

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Genuine Paul yes based tentatively on the sparse information we have, pseudepigraphal Paul’s not so much.

The early church we know little about (30-60) if that is what you are referring to. We can glean some history from Acts with some being the operative word.

I get mixed signals. Positive from Jesus and authentic Paul, negative from others and more or less status quo from some. Truth is the majority of the early church is lost to us.

What period are you referring to? Today? Women are not better off than they were 2000 years ago? In general? Location specific? Or do you mean Middle Ages? I would push back that scripturally speaking, it’s easy to defend slavery and what we see as misogyn today. Heck, using the whole Bible and most interpreter’s general methods today for theology, misogyny has more “scriptural support” than the alternative. A case can be made it’s more “Biblical” but thank goodness I am not a literalist…

And fair enough about reading the research of feminist authors. Any specific work or author in mind?

Vinnie

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In church in some places, they aren’t. In Western societies, certainly things are better. Not everywhere in the world though.

They are coming out with a new edition of Discovering Biblical Equality next month. The table of contents is basically a who’s who list. Heck, even I wrote something for CBE last year if you are interested in metaphor studies and semantics and Paul’s “husband is the head of the wife” in Ephesians.

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Fine line indeed! None of this should ever be used to justify hateful or systemically evil practices. Nor would I deny anyone such wisdom or strength they had accrued through having lived through such maltreatment to themselves, individually or collectively. And if men have come to have more fragile egos through a long history of having their egos stoked … so much the worse for men. I’ll try not to project that onto you.

One of my defacto credos has become: never use five words if fifty will suffice. :open_mouth::open_mouth: :neutral_face:

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It’s a noteworthy concern - and as I replied to Christy above; I think the use of handy cultural understandings to build one’s metaphors shouldn’t be mistaken for endorsement. And as @Marshall says - keeping this usage from being used to codify in inequality is tricky.

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I think this is overblown for a number of reasons…

First of all, I don’t agree with the standard interpretation that sin began with Eve, with sin being all about disobedience. I think it began with Adam, and not only with the bad habit of blaming everything on everyone but oneself – but also with throwing love and Eve to the wolves, so to speak. AND there is a clear suggestion in the story that a distortion in the relationship between men and women is one of the consequences of the fall.

Second, there are some irrefutable facts about the different roles men and women have played in society throughout most of history (reasons why not withstanding). Consider the following…

The Bible was written by men.

Yes that does imply bias. But shows a very clear difference in the roles men and women have had in religion (and the rest of civilization for that matter), doesn’t it? Yeah men have written the rules, run the governments, written history, etc… etc… So yeah all these have been biased in favor of men. But… why is that? Why is it that men were the ones to do these things?

Frankly, I think men have always had the greater struggle since the transition to civilized society in finding a role for themselves. Thus I think they have generally been the one to invent new roles. You could say that women have frankly had their hands full with managing the men (along with other things), but I think there is little doubt that society has also imposed more fixed roles on them. The poor poor men not knowing what to do with themselves after making women do all the work!

And frankly, I think a big part of this has been the constant threat of rape and the need for protection – what else are we to think when this has ALWAYS been part of the spoils of war? Terrible and unthinkable that this should be such an big unspoken factor dominating human society for most of history, isn’t it? But I think it is true, nevertheless.

P.S. It is difficult to find a fair balance on a topic like this and perhaps I lean too heavily in various directions because I am a man.

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I don’t think the problem is limited to what was later decided and imposed. adam is humanity already in Genesis. When Paul and other NT voices wrote the Hebrew word adam in Greek characters, the resulting Greek word isn’t also a term for humanity. It simply names the adam of Genesis.

This is the unavoidable problem of translation – a topic on which I’ve learned a lot from you. As adam moved from Hebrew to Greek, it shifted. Paul collapsed the varied meanings of adam – as both collective male-and-female humanity and the husband of Eve – into a singular and male Adam. As the Hebrew and Greek move to English and other languages, the shift hits the fan.

This reading may do the same thing Paul did: impose a sex on adam even when it isn’t there. If we do that, yes, it does look like the man gets more attention while the woman is left out. But there are three human characters in Genesis 2–3: the man, the woman, and the adam they both come from.

The story starts with the adam. Rather than identifying them as male, we’ve already been told that adam is male and female in 1:27. Later on, 5:2 will do the same. These bookends should guide our reading of this story of adam. Hiding the adam in these bookends strips some important context from the story.

God sees that adam is lonely, so the one becomes two. From the end of 2:22, adam now refers to the man, one side of the original adam. The woman is the other side of adam. Both man and woman have continuity with the original adam, as shown by the man’s words about the woman and the woman’s words about the command given to adam (and her reframing of the command given in the singular to now be plural).

These two human characters are present until the man disappears along with the woman after 3:21. In the expulsion scene that follows, adam again refers to the collective; Eve is part of the adam that has become like God and is cast out of the garden. In fact, when God muses that “he might reach out his hand and take also,” it seems that the woman’s act of taking (which is never said about the man) is here described as part of what adam did, just as Paul does in Romans 5:16.

If we see these three characters in Genesis 2–3, two of them called adam, then Paul’s language becomes a lot more interesting. He isn’t inventing the idea of collapsing humanity into Adam. But neither is he, by doing this, locating us all within the male character.

Yes, but that gets tricky in this case. On one hand we have the adam throughout Genesis 2–3 that isn’t a name (due to the article) and so should be understood according to the word’s normal meaning. On the other hand we have Paul referring back to this character as Adam. As always, translation ends up saying something a bit different than was originally there.

Agreed. I think the move is good, but it makes it easy to misread what was written before, and too easy to mislead in what is written now by using a word archaically (such as adam = “man”).

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My observation is that most of humanity historically has been male power orientated and this was maintained and justified in various religions down to the present time, Christianity included. Women’s movements to greater equality have often been jumped on by conservatives using scriptures to justify their resistance. It’s only in the last 100 years that wester women were allowed to have a full education.

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