Did the naming of Eve come from God’s command?

Did the naming of Eve come from God’s command?

This is the third response to the article by Matt Slick called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority“.

The last two responses we have discussed Adam naming the animals Was Authority Withheld from Eve? and Adam’s identifying Eve as “woman”. Special authority to Adam – was it given by God?

Today I am responding to Slick’s comments regarding the naming of “Eve”. Slick writes:

Also, “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living,” (Gen. 3:20). As God called the light day and the darkness night, so Adam called Eve woman.

There is agreement that Adam took authority over Eve after sin entered the world. The problem is when hierarchists see the naming of “Eve” as if God had commanded Adam to do this before Adam sinned. There is nowhere in scripture that God commanded Adam to take authority over his wife. After Adam sinned, God spoke to Eve and prophesied about what her life would be like outside the garden with her husband who was now a sinner. God did not speak to Adam about granting him authority to rule over Eve, nor did he tell Eve that she must submit to her husband’s rule. He merely stated a fact about what life would be like for her in her sin-distorted relationship with her husband. What hierarchists must do is provide a precedent for God to give Adam authority over another human being (his wife) before sin entered the world. This they cannot do. If Adam was supposed to take authority over her after she was created and before sin entered the world, don’t you think that God would have told him this and recorded it for us to understand? Don’t you think that God would have instructed Eve about what she was supposed to do regarding her “role” if indeed her husband was to have authority over her? It is a significant fact that there is not one word about authority or submission in the pre-fall world except for a mutual authority of Adam and Eve over the animals and the subjection of the animals.

Next Matt Slick points out:

Still, the egalitarians will object and say that an absolute and total equality in all things exists between men and women in the church and the created order and Adam’s naming animals and naming Eve has nothing to do with it. But, is that what is implied in Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 2:12-14?

Notice that in his article he continues to say “implied”. This is significant. The reason he must say “implied” is because there is nothing that says that a man is to take authority over a woman. It has to be read into the text. This is why the best that the hierarchists can say is that is it “implied”. Surely God is capable of issuing a command for a human to rule over another human if he desired it to be that way. The fact that there is no command is very odd if God planned it this way and commanded the first man to rule over his wife. God commanded the man and the woman regarding what they could and couldn’t eat. He commanded them to rule the earth and the animals. He did not give a command regarding Adams right or authority to rule Eve. Did God fail to give a command or is Matt Slick “reading into” the text what God never intended?

Let’s also look at the defense that Adam and Eve gave when they were confronted by God. Did Adam blame the woman for insubordination to his rule? No. In fact he said nothing about her failing to submit to his rule. Eve also did not blame Adam for failing to take authority over her. There is nothing in the testimony of either Adam or Eve that would cause us to imply that Adam had failed in a command to rule Eve or that Eve had failed in a command to submit to Adam. God also did not hold Adam accountable for Eve. Each person was accountable for their own sin.

Lastly, Slick comments about the “divine Zookeeper”:

animals and birds are paraded before the man by the divine Zookeeper for the man to name them, thereby exercising his authority over them.

Not only is calling God a “divine Zookeeper” offensive, but Slick awards Adam with divinely mandated authority over Eve as he implies that the “divine Zookeeper” also paraded the woman before the man. Eve was not paraded before the man in order for him to name her. She was brought to him to be married to him with the blessing of God. Slick has taken a God-ordained marriage ceremony and created a one-woman parade in which the man is given the scepter of rule over her. What a hierarchist can “imply” from the passage is given much more weight than what is actually said in the passage.

9 thoughts on “Did the naming of Eve come from God’s command?

  1. You would think a Calvinist like Slick would know a tautology when he sees one (since many of them pride themselves on their use of logic), but apparently he neither sees it nor expects anyone else to. I refer to his circularity in claiming 1 Tim. 2:12-14 confers authority onto Gen. 3. R. Groothuis elaborated on such circularity in Good News for Women. From my review of the book at this link:

    They assume that Genesis supports female subordination, then when reading 1 Tim. 2:11-15 they appeal back to it as their justification for their view. In other words, they presume authority being established in Genesis, then use it to support their interpretation of Paul’s words to Timothy as being universally applicable since it refers to creation order.

    So to stretch and twist scripture in a vain effort to keep grasping at male superiority, he uses circular reasoning and ignores the context of each passage, while also ignoring the grammar of 1 Tim. 2 to indiscriminately mix singular and plural. This is identical to the typical Calvinist twist on passages like John 3:16 and Romans 5:15-21, where somehow “all” means “many” and “many” means “all”, mixing and matching within a single sentence!

    It’s just amazing, the lengths to which some people will go in order to “keep their position” (John 11:48). That passage also tells us how the Pharisees reacted to the raising of Lazarus from the dead: to plot to kill Jesus! But is the male supremacist attitude really much different? “Scripture shows women are equal to men, but we will suppress this and spread lies about those who would expose us and take away our place as rulers!”

  2. I am not offended by “divine Zookeeper” altho it is not a Biblical term.
    My take is what we are supposed to see are the patterns of similar and different in the text of the Bible and esp. in Gen.  What the non-egals see is the similar and then proclaim that the same type of thing is going on, they simply fail to see the different.
    Yes, God brought the animals AND the woman to the man.
    But the text says God wants to see what the man will name the animals and nowhere does it say God wants to see what the man will name the woman, this is a difference in the text we are supposed to notice.  If you do not notice this, then you end up “helicoptering” that verse about animals into the verse about the woman.

  3. “Notice that in his article he continues to say “implied”. This is significant.”

    This type of interpretation is in all the their teaching. It is all over CBMW. Everything they believe on this issue has to be implied or read into the account. They tell us what God ‘meant’ when He did this or that…not what He ‘said’ or did not say. I have also noticed that they also ignore Genesis 1 quite a bit because it does not fit into their interpretation of Genesis 2.

    My question is this: To what point does this become false teaching? At what point does reading INTO the text, twisting it to mean something else become false teaching?

    BTW: Hagar named God: El Roi

  4. Ha! This post’s anti-spam word is “helper”… how appropriate!

    BTW: Hagar named God: El Roi

    And all these years I thought Elroy was made up by the old Jetsons cartoon. 😉

    My question is this: To what point does this become false teaching? At what point does reading INTO the text, twisting it to mean something else become false teaching?

    If you mean something worthy of being thrown out of a fellowship and “handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme”, I would say at the point where it alters the gospel, turns people away from it, or eats at their faith. There are many such issues today that would qualify, but the insidious thing about this particular issue is that it crosses all the lines, between denominations, religions, and societies, and has done so throughout history. (Which is to say, it isn’t us egalitarians who are bowing to culture!)
    This male supremacism, and the larger issue of hierarchy between “clergy” and “laity”, are issues of pride, of looking on the flesh, and of thinking God really is a “respecter of persons”. The disciples are still clamoring for positions of importance in spite of Jesus’ clear statement, “not so among you”. For any believer to think he or she is to be a boss over other adult believers is nothing but conceit, and the method or character of such rule is irrelevant. To rule “gently and wisely” is still to rule and still in violation of every basic tenet of the Spirit-filled believer. It is impossible to “think of others as better” than ourselves while insisting on “having the final say”, whether it’s in the home or the community of believers (a phrase I much prefer to “church”).
    For the Christian community at large to condone any system of hierarchy based upon the flesh or position is inexcusable. God will hold to account all who bind up at least half the Body of Christ, or who “beat their fellow servants”.

  5. God already said “I will make a Woman….

    She was already called Woman by God, no need for adam to say anything. Adam breaking out in a poem was adam using his free will, nothing more. The Woman was to be “with him”, they were equal partners on the same team so to speak.

    Adam calling her Eve, tells us some things. #1 Life comes through Her….The promise seed will come through Woman! #2 she did not bring death, He (Adam) did and shows he is putting faith in the promise seed. Eve accepting this name shows she too is putting faith in this promise seed to come! 

  6. For the Christian community at large to condone any system of hierarchy based upon the flesh or position is inexcusable. God will hold to account all who bind up at least half the Body of Christ, or who “beat their fellow servants”.

    Great Point!

  7. Two additional flaws in Matt Slick’s commentary on naming:

    He goes through a great list of male namings and asserts that such namings were expressions of aurthority AND that they are a male act only. Of significance, he notes Seth’s naming of Enosh, yet he conveniently ignores the fact that it was Eve who named Seth (she also named Cain). If his premise about naming is correct, then Eve not only broke the “rule” that males are the only namers but she then took sole authority over Seth.

    His rebuttal to the objection of Matthew 1:21 is also incorrect (as is the objection itself, which may have been misrepresented). In reality, the paralle with God and Adam is somewhat striking. Just as God instructed Adam to name the animals, the angel, as representative of God, instructed Mary to name Jesus. It was in fact MARY who named Jesus. Does God break his own rules? I hardly think so.

    The second flaw is in the premise itself – that naming de facto grants authority. Adam (and Eve) did not achieve dominion over the animals by the act of naming them and would not have had less authority over the animals had God chosen to name them Himself. Nowhere in the bible, outside of cultural norms, is it stated that naming grants authority. The fact is that naming has no effect on authority. You either have dominon or you do not. Naming is a task which neither adds to or detracts from dominion. Mr. Slick should be careful what he presupposes. According to his logic in the many verses he quotes, no one, including God in His relationship with His named creation, had any authority until after they did the naming.

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