Eve's Sin Sexual Seduction

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Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
I am currently going to school, pursuing a Bach. in History. I have about a year left, but right now I am stuck in the worst subject associated with History..... Anthropology. I am forced (yes, I loathe this book and the author very much) to read a book by Kevin Reilly. I am in chapter 7 where he talks about sex and love in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Yet, he mentions Christianity in passing. It is quite clear that this guy has never read the bible or Ancient literature. He does make a claim out of left-field that "Paul went so far as to develop a whole philosophy based on the implication in the Old Testament that Eve's sin was sexual seduction and her sin had been the cause of all human sufferings ever since causing everyone to be born with this 'original sin,' and requiring that God purify his people by sacrificing his own son."

I had to respond, but I am curious what your thoughts are as well. I know it's clearly false and uneducated. You would think that someone with such high esteem in academia would be honest in his assessment. I should not expect much.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Since Paul links original sin with Adam your teacher is a little off. I would start by asking what "Paul" he is refering to because it isn't the Paul of the new testament. I feel no need to answer, personally, to people who want to make stuff up. I have been to college so I know how it is. Good luck.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
I am telling you the following for your understanding, not to say it is correct....don't want to get myself banned :) But to interact with this it is best to understand it. It's been 15 years since I had any contact with people holding this view, so I can't remember all the details.

We interpret scripture with scripture, and Song of Songs/Solomon speaks of coming into the garden and under the apple tree, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. There are other verses in SoS appealed to as I recall. Eve in the garden eating the fruit of the tree is the same metaphore as SoS uses for sexual relations.

Lower life forms often have both male and female organs on one organism, and Satan, the worm, had both organs on his being. So Adam had a fling too. (Adam, before Eve was created from his body, could have had both sets of organs initially on one body.)

So far- I speak as an honors botany major- this view is certainly as decent as theistic evolution trying to reinterpret the garden scene. At least it maintains a literal Adam and Eve who did a literal deed against God's command. The use of SoS and garden imagery is certainly more credible than the interpretations Driscoll put on SoS, (and got away with putting on it for many years among the Gospel Coalition except for some lone voices like MacArthur....but don't get me started, best to not go there).

So to argue with this, you have to come up with a good rebuttal to both science, and imagery in SoS. I never could. And the fact that the farther a person and society gets from God the more immoral and debauched they get in this area, would not hurt their case that the first sin was sexual.

Having said that, the folks I knew moved on to Eve getting pregnant a la Nephilim theories ( fallen angels mating with mankind) and this hybrid baby being Cain, whose line was carried in the ark by a daughter in law, and ended up to be Ashkenazi Jews, the seed of satan. Very dark and very Jew hating. I've no idea if your book moves into that or not, but back when I was exposed to this it seemed to be more common than I realized.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
There are a variety of versions, but the basic (false) doctrine that the original sin was sexual is usually called Serpent Seed. It appears to have originated in pre-1st Century Jewish Kabbalah, and was continued in some later Talmudic traditions. It was also adopted by a number of early Gnostic groups, and was refuted by early Christian apologists like Irenaeus and Hippolytus. While a few isolated verses in the Pauline epistles are sometimes appealed to as supporting the idea, to say that Paul built or developed such a doctrine is obviously ludicrous.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
There are a variety of versions, but the basic (false) doctrine that the original sin was sexual is usually called Serpent Seed. It appears to have originated in pre-1st Century Jewish Kabbalah, and was continued in some later Talmudic traditions. It was also adopted by a number of early Gnostic groups, and was refuted by early Christian apologists like Irenaeus and Hippolytus. While a few isolated verses in the Pauline epistles are sometimes appealed to as supporting the idea, to say that Paul built or developed such a doctrine is obviously ludicrous.

Phil,

Do you have the Irenaeus and Hippolytus reference for this? I would love to have this. Thank you.
 

SynodOfDort

Puritan Board Freshman
Having said that, the folks I knew moved on to Eve getting pregnant a la Nephilim theories ( fallen angels mating with mankind) and this hybrid baby being Cain, whose line was carried in the ark by a daughter in law, and ended up to be Ashkenazi Jews, the seed of satan. Very dark and very Jew hating. I've no idea if your book moves into that or not, but back when I was exposed to this it seemed to be more common than I realized.

Just when I thought bad theology couldn't get worse smiley-shocked001.gif
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Also, and I'm not trying to get dirty here but we're all adults, how is Eve sexually seducing her husband a sin in the grand scheme of things? If Adam or Eve were not trying to seduce one another that would be a marital problem. I won't get caught up in debate over individual verses, for the most part, but in what scripture as a whole has to say. If someone wants to criticize us than fine but they have to at least get what we say right to do so. Since most, if not all, of theologians within orthodoxy don't interpret the bible this way. Let your teacher teach whatever they teach and let theologians do their job as well.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Also, and I'm not trying to get dirty here but we're all adults, how is Eve sexually seducing her husband a sin in the grand scheme of things? If Adam or Eve were not trying to seduce one another that would be a marital problem. I won't get caught up in debate over individual verses, for the most part, but in what scripture as a whole has to say. If someone wants to criticize us than fine but they have to at least get what we say right to do so. Since most, if not all, of theologians within orthodoxy don't interpret the bible this way. Let your teacher teach whatever they teach and let theologians do their job as well.

I agree with you. See above comments on Gnosticism and chain of being. As a general rule, the church fathers didn't believe Adam and Eve had sex pre-fall. For them, sex isn't "spiritual" and is lower on the chain of being. The goal for Anchorites is to imitate monasticism and obtain hyperousia by human efforts. So they read that into Adam and Eve. Some Fathers, like Maximus the Confessor, didn't even believe there was sexual differentation until later on in the narrative.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Also, and I'm not trying to get dirty here but we're all adults, how is Eve sexually seducing her husband a sin in the grand scheme of things? If Adam or Eve were not trying to seduce one another that would be a marital problem. I won't get caught up in debate over individual verses, for the most part, but in what scripture as a whole has to say. If someone wants to criticize us than fine but they have to at least get what we say right to do so. Since most, if not all, of theologians within orthodoxy don't interpret the bible this way. Let your teacher teach whatever they teach and let theologians do their job as well.

I agree with you. See above comments on Gnosticism and chain of being. As a general rule, the church fathers didn't believe Adam and Eve had sex pre-fall. For them, sex isn't "spiritual" and is lower on the chain of being. The goal for Anchorites is to imitate monasticism and obtain hyperousia by human efforts. So they read that into Adam and Eve. Some Fathers, like Maximus the Confessor, didn't even believe there was sexual differentation until later on in the narrative.

Ironically that is what the Mormons believe as well. I think though that we side with nature and scripture on this one. As a side note your knowledge of the Patristics is quite impressive.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
When reading the material, I actually did not take it in the way you did James. When I was reading it, I took it the way Lynnie did in one sense. I saw the author trying to connect Satan and Eve; not Adam and Eve.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
Do you have the Irenaeus and Hippolytus reference for this?

Both Irenaeus and Hippolytus described the heretical views of two Gnostic sects called the Ophites [FONT=&amp](from the Greek ophis, "snake") and the Sethites.[/FONT] While neither one engaged in a point by point rebuttal of these Gnostics' teaching on the original human sin in Eden, they clearly did so in the context of refuting their overall schema.
Irenaeus:

[FONT=&amp]But their [/FONT][FONT=&amp][a family of deities] mother, Sophia, cunningly devised a scheme to seduce Eve and Adam, by means of the serpent, to transgress the command of Ialdabaoth [one of the “father” gods]. Eve listened to this as if it had proceeded from a Son of God, and yielded an easy belief. She also persuaded Adam to eat of the tree regarding which God had said that they should not eat of it. They then declare that, on their thus eating, they attained to the knowledge of that power which is above all, and departed from those who had created them. When Prunicus perceived that the powers were thus baffled by their own creature, she greatly rejoiced, and again cried out, that since the father was incorruptible, Ialdabaoth who formerly called himself the father was a liar; and that, while Anthropos and the first woman, the Spirit, existed previously, this one, Eve, sinned by committing adultery. Ialdabaoth, however, through that oblivion in which he was involved, and not paying any regard to these things, cast Adam and Eve out of Paradise, because they had transgressed his commandment. (Against Heresies, 1:30.7f; ANF 1:356)[/FONT]

Hippolytus:
[FONT=&amp]
Baruch [/FONT]
[FONT=&amp][an archangel of the creator Elohim—i.e. the God of the Old Testament] then coming, stood in the midst of the angels of Edem [essentially “Mother Nature"], that is, in the midst of paradise—for paradise is the angels, in the midst of whom he stood,—and issued to the man the following injunction: “Of every tree that is in paradise thou mayest freely eat, but thou mayest not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” which is Naas [Hebrew, Nachash, "the serpent”]. Now the meaning is, that he should obey the rest of the eleven angels of Edem for the eleven possess passions, but are not guilty of transgression. Naas, however, has committed sin, for he went in unto Eve, deceiving her, and debauched her; and such an act as this is a violation of law. He, however, likewise went in unto Adam, and had unnatural intercourse with him; and this is itself also a piece of turpitude, whence have arisen adultery and sodomy. (The Refutation of All Heresies, 5:21; ANF 5:71)[/FONT]

The basic idea is also present in the 4th Century Gnostic Gospel of Philip:
[FONT=&amp]First, adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he [/FONT][FONT=&amp][Cain] was begotten in adultery, for he was the child of the Serpent. So he became a murderer, just like his father, and he killed his brother [Abel]. Indeed, every act of sexual intercourse which has occurred between those unlike one another is adultery.[/FONT] (61:5-10)


 
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jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
When reading the material, I actually did not take it in the way you did James. When I was reading it, I took it the way Lynnie did in one sense. I saw the author trying to connect Satan and Eve; not Adam and Eve.

Well I won't pretend to be as familiar with sources as you are but I know that Mormons believe sex is a result of the fall, one of the reasons why their God allowed sin in the first place so that we could reproduce.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The sin was eating from a tree forbidden by God.

It was an appropriate test. Eating ls for the sustenance of life, for pleasure, and for fellowship, both in the Bible and in our lives.

Adam ate unto himself death, took pleasure in iniquity and had fellowship with the Evil One.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
When reading the material, I actually did not take it in the way you did James. When I was reading it, I took it the way Lynnie did in one sense. I saw the author trying to connect Satan and Eve; not Adam and Eve.

What would connecting Satan and Eve have to with Eve sexually seducing her husband? Plus Paul makes it clear in Romans that it was through Adam that sin entered the world. I guess I don't understand the problem, which is my fault.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
There isn't any weird sexual symbolism in Satan being "the Serpent", either. Angelic spirits, such as the cherubim, mentioned in this chapter, are often characterised by being compared to or symbolized by earthly creatures. See e.g. Ezekiel 1 where the cherubim are associated with a man, and also with an eagle, an ox, and a lion.

See Patrick Fairbairn's explanation of this symbolism in his "Typology of Scripture"

It is appropriate that fallen angels like Satan be associated with serpents, and sometimes scorpions. Serpents have an association with deviousness and craftiness. They are widely looked upon as loathsome, but to others they have a shimmering beauty. They are widely viewed as the enemies of mankind, and as deadly and dangerous. They can inject their venom into the body, as Satan did here, in the sense of encouraging Adam to sin and injecting the poison of sin into the body of the race. Like Satan, serpents occupy a "lowly place" by God's decree.

Satan may well also have appeared as "the Serpent" or used a serpent in the temptation, rather than appearing as an angel of light or just whispering in Eve's ear or mind.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire using Tapatalk 2
 
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