Monday, April 18, 2016

Did Eve Add To God's Word?

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:16-17

And the woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.'" Genesis 3:2-3
No doubt many of you reading this have been taught that Eve added to God's Word. It could very well be, but it is not necessarily so. This teaching is sheer speculation, an argument from silence. Let us consider a few things.

Eve was not present when God gave this command to Adam. This we know for a fact. If there is indeed addition to the words of God, how do we know that it was not Adam who added to it when he taught his wife and that she is merely repeating what was taught her?

How do we know that both quotes are not the words of God? How many times throughout Scripture, especially the synoptic gospels, do we see two sets of information where there is additional information to one that is not present in the other? If Matthew quotes Jesus saying something, and Luke quotes Jesus saying the same thing but adds something else, was Luke adding to the words of God? How do we know that this is not the case with Eve's quote?

Paul, when discussing Adam and Eve, points out the fact that it was Eve who was deceived by the serpent and how Adam was not deceived but ate freely. If Eve truly had added to the words of God, do you not think that Paul, or another of the Apostles, would have pointed it out?

Everything I have just shared with you is as much speculation and argument from silence as is the teaching that Eve added to God's Word. If we are going to teach on this point, we would be wise to do so as I have presented here. It would be foolish of us to throw all our eggs into the basket of assumption that says Eve absolutely added to God's Word when there are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples in Scripture of this very thing—quotations with more or less information than other quotations.

On issues such as this, we would do well to step back and take a closer look. We should not teach things as hard and fast teachings unless there is sufficient warrant to do so. In this case, all we have are two quotations. In the command not to eat, there is inherently a command not to touch. What purpose would Adam and Eve have to touch the fruit? Pluck it from the tree, hold it in their hands, for what purpose? So who is to say that God did not also command them not to touch it? Be careful what you teach and how you teach it.