In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, chapter 3 is written by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr. and called “Male-Female Equality and Male Headship Genesis 1-3” but honestly, I think it could be retitled “The Emperor has no clothes” a thoughtful comment from a child in the fairytale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes“. This chapter in CBMW’s book is one of the most fanciful reworking of the Genesis account that I have ever seen. Take for example the reworking of sin to be “operating on Eve’s mind” even before sin entered the world.
On page 106 Ortlund writes:
Eve hadn’t even known that there was a “problem”. But the Serpent’s prejudiced question unsettles her. It knocks her back on her heels. And so the Serpent engages Eve in a reevaluation of her life on his terms. She begins to feel that God’s command, which Adam had shared with her has to be defended…Eve’s misquote reduces the lavish generosity of God’s word to the level of mere, perhaps grudging, permission…
After the words “which Adam had shared with her”, Ortlund inserts a note number 39 and the end notes from chapter 3 note 39 reads:
Eve’s reply in verses 2-3 shows that she has been instructed in the command of 2:16-17, although she misquotes God. The inaccuracies in her quote are to be explained in terms of sin’s operations in her mind, not in terms of “limited knowledge”… (emphasis is mine)
Pardon? How did this “sin” get its “operations” in her mind before she sinned and before sin entered the world? Let us reason through this issue:
1. Adam and Eve were created without sin.
2. The Bible clearly tells us that Eve was deceived – 2 Corinthians 11:3 & Genesis 3:13, and because Eve was deceived she sinned by eating the fruit which was a disobedient act against God’s own command. Where does the Bible say that sin was in Eve’s mind before she ate the fruit and before she was deceived and ate the fruit? Eve’s supposed “misquote” comes about at the point where there was only a question posed from the serpent and there is no temptation to sin and “misquote” God.
3. Where does the Bible say that the effects of sin operating in Eve’s mind caused her to distort the command of God?
4. Who said that Eve “misquoted” God? Did God accuse Eve of misquoting him? Did Adam accuse Eve of misquoting God? Did Eve say that sin in her mind had caused her (without any provocation!) to misquote God? Where are all of these accusations against Eve coming from?
The claim that Eve “misquotes God” because of “sin’s operations in her mind” even before the serpent tempts her to eat the fruit is a fanciful piece of stitching on an invisible garment.
Ortlund also repeats a man-made tradition that it was Adam who shared God’s command with his wife instead of Eve having direct communication with God where God himself gives her his directive. I also ask, where is the evidence that it was Adam who gave the command to Eve as Mr. Ortlund so confidently states? How come so many have accepted the invisible garment that constructs a story about a sinning Eve before she ate the fruit? How can such a sin be substantiated since God gave us not even one word about this so-called pre-fall sin?
The next few articles will be based on further evidence of the reworking of the Genesis account from Ortlund’s chapter in CBMW’s book.