WE herewith continue our discussion of a fascinating series of articles on the Serpent in the Garden, which appears at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom.
Background: Our first post in this foundational study of creation science was here: Do Creationists Think?, dealing with the question of whether the Serpent had legs. That was followed by Creationist Wisdom #110: The Serpent, which addressed the anomaly of a talking snake. Then there was Creationist Wisdom #113: The Serpent Revisited, about whether Satan was the actual serpent in the garden. Our last post on this topic was Creationist Wisdom #115: The Serpent & Lamarckism, which explains scientifically why we are punished for the sin of Adam & Eve — it’s something we’ve inherited.
But all along, we’ve been puzzled by AIG’s obsession with this topic. We finally ran across an explanation of why this is so important. It’s in August’s Letter from Ken — that’s Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the genius who brought you the website Answers in Genesis (AIG) and the mind-boggling Creation Museum. Hambo’s letter explains, with bold font added by us:
[W]hat you believe about the age of the earth and the days of Creation are not salvation issues per se — but they are important biblical authority issues.
The history in the Bible beginning in Genesis is true, and that is why the gospel and Christian morality based in that history are true. And, as I often say, there is no point just converting people to be anti-evolutionists and/or creationists. They’ll end up in Hell just like an atheist if they don’t trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation!
So you see, dear reader, to Hambo it’s an all-or-nothing approach. No Fall, no salvation. It’s a message with two inseparable parts. The first part is often unspoken, but it’s essential. It’s like an advertisement for some medical remedy, about which one doesn’t care unless he is one of the afflicted. Similarly, in Hambo’s approach to things, no one should care about the Good News of salvation unless he also accepts the Bad News about what happened back in Eden. Therefore Genesis is not only important, it must be literally true. That means, of course, evolution is not only false — it’s an evil impediment to salvation.
With that understanding, we present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from AIG’s latest contribution to this vitally important series: Was Adam With Eve When She Spoke to the Serpent? To improve readability, we’ll omit most scriptural references. You will, however, want to consult the original article in order to study that data for yourself. The bold font was added by us:
Here at Answers in Genesis, there are people on both sides of this friendly in-house debate. [Scripture account of Eve’s seduction by the serpent.] Those who believe Adam was present with Eve (the Woman) during the temptation point to the fact that Genesis 3:6 states that Eve gave some fruit to her husband who was “with her.” At first glance, this seems to settle the matter, but arguments have been raised against this.
Wow! We are stunned that a detail of this incredibly important event — which affected the entire universe — leaves room for a “friendly in-house debate.” We want to know The Truth™. Let’s read on:
First, the Scripture does not necessarily state that Adam was with Eve when she was deceived. It only mentions Adam when she ate. Many believe the phrase “with her” is out of context when applying it to the events in the previous section, because the Hebrew starts a new paragraph in verse 6.
Many believe a small amount of time passed to permit Adam to arrive on the scene to see her pick the fruit, eat it, and give some to him to eat.
In fact, the Bible never says the serpent spoke to Adam and Eve but only to Eve. Only Eve responded, and it is highly unlikely that Adam wouldn’t respond at all if he was involved in the conversation. … Logically, it is easier to deceive one person than two. Note the clever deception by the serpent in that he did not go by the Lord God’s created order. He did not go to Adam first, but instead went directly for Eve.
This is exciting! If you detect a bit of misogyny in the author’s attitude about Eve’s being the easier of the two to deceive, well … perhaps that’s part of the package. The AIG article then has a lengthy discussion about what various commentators have said about this important issue over the centuries. We’ll leave that scholarly material for you to read when you click over to AIG. We’ll skip most of that until we come to the final expert:
Concerning Adam and Eve, Paul stated the following:
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Does that resolve the issue? Not quite. AIG says:
The passage says Eve, and not Adam, was deceived — but this still doesn’t shed light on whether Adam was with Eve or if he showed up afterwards. In both cases (Adam with Eve or Adam not with Eve), [Paul’s scripture passage] could easily apply. If Adam was not with Eve, then obviously he wouldn’t have been deceived. He could have eaten knowing he was sinning, regardless of knowing the serpent had deceived Eve.
Is your head spinning yet? If not, it soon will be. We continue:
There is no indication that Adam listened to the voice of the serpent, but he did listen to the voice of his wife. Since God said that Adam listened to the voice of his wife, then two scenarios could apply:
1. He listened to her voice when she responded to the serpent (scenario one).
2. This was a conversation after she spoke with the serpent (scenario two).
The AIG article then goes into a long analysis of each possibility. You won’t want to miss that! Here’s the article’s conclusion:
[S]cenario two seems much more plausible, though one should not be dogmatic.
Heavens no! A creationist should never be dogmatic. Continuing:
Regardless, this whole event surely didn’t take long, from the serpent’s deception to when Eve desired the fruit and spoke to her husband and then ate. We should refrain from being dogmatic that Adam was there the whole time because so little is given in Scripture.
Without question though, Adam was with his wife when she ate, so he had no excuse for not knowing what he ate. He knew it was fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and knowingly sinned when he ate.
Are you as confused as we are? Here we have the most important event in the history of the universe since the six days of creation and we don’t know what happened. We crave certainty, but we are left with ambiguity. This is most unsatisfactory! Perhaps everything will be clarified in a future article.
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