I've looked at other questions on here regarding why Adam was considered the original sinner even though Eve ate the fruit first.

i.e. Why is Adam considered the original sinner?

However my question is was that action really the first sin committed by Eve?

In Genesis:3v3 Eve misrepresents what God had told the pair about eating from the tree. She tells the serpent God told them not to even touch it. Which isn't true.

Could this mean heresy, not rebellion was the original sin?

If we believe that the world was perfect before the fall, and the fall was the result of the pair eating the fruit how could Eve tell lies before she'd even eaten the fruit?

  • 'By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin' says Paul in Romans 5:12. The word 'man' is αντηροπος, not ανερ, so the word could quite properly be translated 'humanity'. By one humanity ... And by Another Humanity was sin eradicated, in Christ. Eve did not tell 'lies' - she was 'deceived'.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 26, 2018 at 11:15
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    @NigelJ - not sure how that ties in with 1 Tim 2:14 - but without getting into a debate on semantics - Eve was deceived into eating the fruit because she believed the lie put forward by the serpent. I agree being tempted or getting deceived aren't sins. However she wasn't tempted to make the false statement: God said "You must not touch it" - that simply isn't true. For many people their theology is based on the concept of original sin - rebellion which caused the fall. Therefore before the fall how was it possible for Eve to make a false statement? also why downvote?
    – user41260
    Jun 26, 2018 at 11:59
  • The down-vote wasn't me. My profile record shows it wasn't me.I agree that 'Eve was in the transgresion'. That's why I indicated that αντηροπος indicates 'humanity' not a specific, individual man - which would be ανερ.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 26, 2018 at 12:22
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    I had some fun and asked about his over at Judaism.SE. While the explanations cover ground seen here, they also point out that they could be discussing the matter without a full accounting. God did not give Moses a history. He gave him understanding about his relationship with Heaven. If Moses recorded a vision rather than transcribe words it's easy to believe historical details were set aside to focus on what was important. TL;DR: Eve may not have sinned at all.
    – JBH
    Jun 26, 2018 at 22:46
  • The bible does not implied Eve lied,.it should be taken as a defense from evil suggestion of the serpent tricking Eve to try to touch first the fruit. We must remember Eve has preternatural gift and the command is just a few words and in no way Eve will forget a simple command. I will expound my answer below. Godbless Jun 27, 2018 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


Good question.

When I read your question, I immediately thought about James Chapter 1, where we read,

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

You'll see the relevance of those verses shortly.

First, however, let's define some key terms. Rebellion, as you've used the term, certainly describes Adam's sin, but biblically Adam's sin was disobedience.

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19 NASB).

Second, one reason for Adam being depicted as the fall guy (no pun intended) instead of Eve is found in the biblical teaching on headship. Without going into a great deal of detail here, from the beginning, man was the head of the woman, much like Christ is the head of the Church Universal (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).

In a day of political correctness, the concept of headship seems to many to be primitive--offensive, even. Significantly, the Bible's teaching on headship does not even imply remotely that woman is in any way inferior to man. The Bible teaches clearly they are equals in God's sight. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:24; cf. Galatians 3:28).

The Bible also teaches, however, that from the beginning the man was accountable to God in a way the woman was not. Were both Adam and Eve culpable of disobedience? Yes. Clearly, Eve was no less culpable than Adam. Nevertheless, Adam was held accountable in ways which Eve was not.

What did God say in the wake of the couple's disobedience?

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (Genesis 3:9 KJV, my italics).

Clearly, both Adam and Eve were guilty of disobedience. That Eve's disobedience was preceded by a process of deception is almost irrelevant to the more significant issue of her eventual disobedience.

Though not strictly biblical, there is a distinct possibility that Satan approached Eve more than once with the same temptation. Perhaps she weakened through multiple temptations by the adversary of her soul. Frankly, we do not know, nor will we ever know. What we do know, however, is that Adam was right there with her when she finally gave in to the the temptation of her advesary (who was, after all, the personage responsible for sin's entrance into the universe).

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 3:6 KJV, my emphasis).

Where the Scriptures are silent we must not make unwarranted assumptions, but perhaps we are justified in surmising that had Adam "manned up," so to speak, and prevented his helpmeet (helpmate, or fit helper) from giving in to the temptation, there would not have been a fall from grace.

Still, Adam bore the brunt of blame in the fiasco. His sin, in a sense, was worse than his wife's, since in disobeying God, he betrayed his God-given headship.

While Eve's punishment, as with Adam's, was also death, she was to be burdened as well with the pain attached to childbirth.

Unto the woman . . . [God] said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" Genesis 3:16 KJV).

And from Paul's letter to his son in the Lord, we have these words,

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression (1 Timothy 2:14 KJV).

Two points in conclusion:

  1. Being tempted is not sin; giving in to the temptation is. Temptation is a process, as James points out. We see (literally or figuratively), we want, we take. Lust entices us, carries us away, sin is birthed, and we are separated from God, some for a time and some forever.

  2. Eve's deception took place prior to the Law being given through Moses. Bearing false witness--lying--was certainly a step in the wrong direction for Eve, but as James has pointed out, giving in to sin is a process. In the case of Eve, her deception itself may have been a long time in coming (as I've already suggested).

    Perhaps she gave in to Satan's enticements after being worn down over repeated exposures to the same temptation. We simply do not know for certain. Nevertheless, God did not hold Eve responsible for lying but for her disobedience, and with her disobedience, the weight of responsibility as the head of the woman, Adam became the titular head of all humankind.

    Albeit a clear anachronism of interpretation, from a 21st century perspective Adam carried in his body the "death gene." Through his seed each subsequent human being birthed into the world was infected with that gene.

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity", the psalmist said, "and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5 KJV)).

That sinful conception takes place in each generation because of Adam's "sin-and-death gene." While sin will always be, in a sense, taught, it is still an inborn capacity within the heart of each human being to disobey God. As has often been observed of children, no parent needs to teach his or her child to say no to mommy or daddy!

The good news, however, is that the "seed of the woman" (Genesis 3:15) would deal sin a death blow through the Son of Man, who because of his sinlessness could bear and take away the sin of the world.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 Peter 2:24 KJV; cf. John 1:29 and 36).

  • Love this answer thank you. Point 2 addresses Eve's false witness which is helpful for me to understand the passage. I like the grace you give her saying it was a step in the wrong direction but yes, ultimately Adam was responsible and the issue is still clearly disobedience. Thank you
    – user41260
    Jun 26, 2018 at 20:06

Adam's sin was in the fact that he willfully disobeyed God's command not to eat. While Eve's sin was in being deceived.

Genesis 3:1 through 6 KJV Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

It should also be noted that God told Adam not to eat of the tree, but that was before he had even created Eve.

 Genesis 2:17 and 18 KJV But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

After creating Eve Genesis gives no account of God directly telling Eve not to eat of the tree.

Genesis 2:21 and 22 KJV And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

In the account of the fall, it is curious that it says that the eyes of both were opened; but that was after she had given the fruit to Adam and he had eaten.

Genesis 3:7 KJV And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 

Can it be that Eve's eyes were not opened until Adam willfully disobeyed God? Some things are not to be known until the end of time, but we must assume that willful disobedience of God must be more offensive to God than disobedience after being deceived. Since both appear to be simultaneous, although we do not know that Adam was present when Eve was deceived, Adam's willful disobedience occurred before their eyes were opened and they were made aware that they had elected evil.

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