Two days ago I ran into a post someone (I respect) wrote about Eve. This is a review of it.
When I saw the post I was grieved. It reminded of the things about church that nowadays grieve my soul and make it so hard to listen to many pastors preach. So many, many things being preached—albeit with the right intentions—are totally off what the Bible actually says.
It reminded me of why I do what I do now; why I started writing on social media. It reminded of why I say that anointing alone is not enough for Bible study. It can never be enough. Intellectualism is part of it. Hermeneutics is part of it. I don’t know if the pastor who wrote this has had any formal, or informal, theological training, but I know she got many, many things wrong in her exegesis.
Yes, she means well and I respect her for that. But sincerity cannot make up for required knowledge.
I cannot put up the entire post, so I just linked it up here. I know she may be the sweetheart of some of you, but it is what it is and we have to have these honest conversations about what we preach and teach. It is the only way we can grow. It is the only way we will be perfected as the Church of Jesus Christ. This is not to say, however, that everything she teaches is to be frowned at.
Besides, all of us preachers and teachers are imperfect.
The crux of the entire post is that she claims, according to the Bible, Eve’s deception was a dilemma of ‘reported speech’. Now, though she meant to pass a strong message across, all the premises presented to support her claim cannot be proven with the Bible. As against presenting actual scriptural arguments, we have many assumptions.
Secondly, with the wrong premises a negative narrative about women and about the Bible is reinforced. It is a total misrepresentation of the scriptures and what the Bible actually says about women.
The instructions God gave Adam was very straight forward. You shall NOT EAT it! Period..
This, of course, relies on the assumptions about what happened in the Beginning with respect to the command. God talked about it once, and God could not have added to the initial instruction. Both assumptions I debunked in the Eve series, here and here.
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, NOR SHALL YOU.TOUCH IT, lest you die.’ ”
Wow! Eve has added something God did not say. She said – you shall NOT TOUCH it. Did God say so?
It amazes me how christians, Pentecostals in particular, fling this so-called revelation of Eve adding to God’s word as if it is a trivial thing. Apart from the fact that coming to such a conclusion is only as a result of a simplistic approach to the study of the scriptural text, it is a big deal to add to God’s word (Deut.4:2).
EVE DID NOT ADD TO GOD’S WORD. Nowhere does the Bible does categorically say or imply anything remotely like that. She was deceived is what the Bible says. To be deceived is not the same as being a liar. Only the devil falsified God’s word in the Beginning (John 8:44). Only the devil!
If only Eve and Adam knew that the devil has NOTHING new or original to offer.
Adam? The man was not deceived. He was not even a part of the conversation. He was there, yeah, but the dialogue was not with him.
Another error was that she categorized both trees. 👇
And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The TREE OF LIFE was also IN THE MIDST of the garden, AND the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
There were 2 trees in the MIDST of the garden. One was NOT okay for eating, the other, no instruction was given so it’s safe to conclude that it was good for eating.
This is the dilemma of reported speech. Eve in the bid to be safe got it ALL wrong. She avoided both trees and lumped them both together and she also added to the instruction. The result: she became a prey for the devil!
Eve did not lump anything. It was the serpent that lumped all the trees with his cunning question. He asked, “Did God say you should not eat of EVERY tree?”
She replied, “we may eat of the fruit of the TREES of the garden, but of the fruit of the TREE which is in the middle of the garden…” She meant ONLY ONE TREE of the two trees in the midst of the garden. She did NOT lump anything up!
When we crave for something new or more in an unhealthy manner, we become prey.
God already made EVERY TREE grow that is 1. pleasant to the sight and 2.good for food.
But Eve thought there was more and she fell prey.
So when the woman saw that the tree was 1.good for food, that it was 2.pleasant to the eyes, and a tree 3.DESIRABLE TO.MAKE ONE WISE, she took of its fruit and ate.
She added point 3 as told her by the devil. So many things we have added to What God already said and it’s nothing but the flesh and of the devil.
Eve was looking for something new is why she was deceived. Really? Eve already had an inclination before the serpent came?
That is not true!
Nothing in the rest of the Bible, whether in this narrative or elsewhere, corroborates that. The idea that the tree would make her wise, that she would know more, came to her mind because she had a conversation with the serpent. Knowing more was the lie the devil told her. That was the guile that beguiled her. That was the DECEPTION. If anything, we should hinge her fault on having had a conversation with the wrong creature, a cunning serpent. But that she was already tilted to deviate even before the serpent showed up? That is too much of a stretch. Too much.
We can’t help God.. clarity of instruction is very key in avoiding the tactics of the devil
What does this mean? Where does ‘trying to helping God’ come in in this entire narrative? Clarity of instruction? Where does that come in? If clarity of instruction is the issue here, then why make it about Eve? I thought the assumption was that Adam was the one who told her about the command? Should he not be the one being blamed?
The arguments are heavily disjointed and distorted.
First the problem is reported speech, then it is trying to ‘help God’. If it was reported speech, then the fault of Eve’s error should be on who passed the message across to her, yeah? It is a dilemma of reported speech, yet she was the one who added to God’s word. Why is it not the person who gave her the info that added to it? It is not her fault she got reported speech. Was that not God’s doing?
Lumping the two trees together is said to be a dilemma of reported speech, yet it is Eve ‘playing safe’, not the person who reported the command to her. And from all these we somehow find ourselves at the conclusion of ‘clarity of instruction’ (Premise 6).
The whole idea of reported speech is presented with the backdrop of this being some human error, Eve’s error. Yet… a reported speech having happened is based on the assumption that it was God’s system that she be told the command by someone else; that something be REPORTED to her. So why is reported speech a dilemma if it was God’s plan?
This is just one instance. But it is what we do in Pentecostal settings ever so often. We just share revelations, not really thinking about the cohesiveness of our points.
That it is ‘revelation’ does not mean it should not be intelligent.
Because it is revelation does not mean that it should not be organized and coherent.
This is why unbelievers think christians to be simpletons. This why though we preach from today till tomorrow, some people WILL NOT hear us. If we cannot seem to get some things so basic…
It is why attending church has become increasingly frustrating for me, but I keep going because I am hopeful for a change.
A little intellectual engagement and anyone can see that all the arguments presented here hold no water. A basic knowledge of the Biblical languages and scriptural hermeneutics, some intellectual engagement in the formulation of doctrine and sermons and we would not be having this conversation.