The Sin of Adam and Eve

Today in Bible Class we got into a discussion of what the actual point was that Adam and Eve fell into sin. Was it not until they actually committed the sin (actual sin) of disobeying God, or was it in their discontent with what God had given them? Adam and Eve were different than us in that we have concupiscence. We are naturally inclined to sin. We live under the power of sin. But in the primal innocence of the Garden, there was no such thing. Just thought I’d throw it out for discussion.

It’s interesting that the first thing the Devil does is tempt them to think that God is holding out on them, that there is something they could have other than what God gave them. Like he is saying, “God doesn’t really love you. He is not concerned about you. He just wants you to be under his controlling thumb.”

So, discuss. Did sin enter the world before ever a bite was taken?


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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10 Responses to The Sin of Adam and Eve

  1. katie says:

    It would seem that nearly every sin begins with the sinful contemplation of it.
    If we murder and commit adultery through our unclean thoughts, then we defy God, and presume His authority as our own, first within our minds.
    We are after all, sinful through and through.

  2. Lawrence says:

    We might also consider that sin is a consequence of temptation, and succumbing to temptation is primarily result of naiveté and weakness.

  3. KJV says:

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

  4. Pastor H.R. Curtis says:

    The best commentary I’ve ever read on Genesis 3 is CS Lewis’ Perelandra (second in the Space Triology. The first is Out of the Silent Planet and the third is That Hideous Strength). Read that book and you’ll and you’ll have a lot more to thinka bout along just these lines. This is one of maybe two or three books that I’ve ever read that I literally could not put down – I was up til 3 in the morning finishing this one. . .


  5. Kelly Klages says:

    Perelandra came to my mind too when I read this post. But that book hurt my head. I couldn’t put it down either, but it was actually a wholly miserable experience for me for that reason… I remember feeling like I wanted to lash out and scream or explode or something…

  6. Jay D says:


    How do old posts work?

    My thoughts:

    The first sin was eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil–AKA legalism.

    The Serpent promised Adam and Eve they could become like God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    Chastity is good. They are already chaste, but they are on a quest to become like God through knowledge of good and evil. God is good, chastity is good. If they are going to be more like God, they are going to have to be more good. They are going to have to find a way to become more chaste. They hatched a scheme to separate themselves from the evil of unchastity. They covered their nakedness.

    This is human foolishness (“Who told you that you were naked?”), but once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it is not humanly possible to put it back in. The second thing God did (after passing judgement on them) was make them suitable clothes. Man created the mental association of nakedness to unchastity and Man is going to have to live with that.

    Jesus did not require any covering of nakedness to remain chaste. However, he did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. He wore clothes.

    Since Man has chosen the path of living by rules, God provided his rules, God’s Law, that are proper.

    What do you think? Plausible?

  7. Pastor Beisel says:

    I’m not exactly sure what you just said actually. Maybe I don’t have the intellectual capacity to get it. Whatever the case, I just don’t understand your comment.

  8. Jay D says:

    Thanks for responding. I wanted to make my post short, I suppose I made it too short. Here is the long version.

    Where did Adam and Eve (A&E) go wrong? Most explanations I have heard have A&E somehow ignorant of good and evil. God put the tree in the garden as sort of a test of obedience. This is like putting a cookie jar in a room with a toddler and telling him not to take one. This never made much sense to me.

    1.I can’t really imagine what it would be like to be ignorant of good and evil. Would Adam think nothing of lying all the time? I don’t get it. I know this doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but…
    2.Jesus was true God and true Man. The man Jesus was perfect, but he wasn’t ignorant of good and evil.
    3.God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden. I think the simple explination is that God wanted A&E to have knowledge of good and evil.

    My speculation is that gaining ordinary knowledge of good and evil had nothing to do with the fall. The sin was that the ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What could this mean? To me this seems to be saying that A&E made knowledge of good and evil a major part of their spiritual diet. They began to make knowledge of good and evil a focus of their religion.

    In Genesis 3:22 God says “ has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…” I think “knowing” here means more than simply “having ordinary knowledge of”. When the bible says in Genesis 4:1 “Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain”, that means more than Adam simply “had ordinary knowledge of” his wife.

    I think “knowing” in Genesis 3:22 means something deeper. If God spoke in Sci-Fi slang, he might have said “man has become like one of us in grokking good and evil”.

    Grok: To understand. Connotes intimate and exhaustive knowledge. When you claim to ‘grok’ some knowledge or technique, you are asserting that you have not merely learned it in a detached instrumental way but that it has become part of you, part of your identity. For example, to say that you “know” LISP [a programming language] is simply to assert that you can code in it if necessary—but to say you “grok” LISP is to claim that you have deeply entered the world-view and spirit of the language, with the implication that it has transformed your view of programming.

    So, I suggest that by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they deeply entered the world-view and spirit of knowledge of good and evil. What affect would this have on their behavior?

    The serpent promised that they could become more like gods by eating the fruit. How? The invented Law based religion. This Law based religion was the means they were to become more like gods. Their first Law was “Thou shalt cover thy nakedness”. How would this help them become more like gods? They knew God was good, so they attempted to increase their goodness. They sought to distance themselves from unchastity. They invented clothes-wearing as a scheme to do this.

    Once they started down this path, their view of the world was altered. “No one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.'” Old indeed! From that moment on, humans embraced the old wine of Law based religion. Law based religion deeply entered their view of the world. Also from that moment on, God also began unfolding his plan for redemption. Man wanted Law, so God have him Law, His Law, which at that point served the first two uses. God provided them suitable clothing, because now, clothing really does serve as a first use.

  9. Pastor Beisel says:

    It sounds pretty philosophical to me, but I suppose it is possible. I think that Romans 5 is illustrative here: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18-19 ESV)

    By this right it seems like it was the fact that Adam disobeyed God. That was the chief and original sin.

  10. Jay D says:


    Good verse. I don’t know the Bible like I should.

    To try to answer your question in the original post:

    The Apology of the Augsburg Confession seems to equate “Original Sin” with concupiscence. I would say I think they fell into concupiscence before they actually performed an overt act of disobedience.

    How does that fit with Romans 5:18-19? The Apology also insists that concupiscence is sin, a tresspass against the first table of the ten comandments. So I don’t see why the “one trespass” in Romans 5:18 couldn’t be falling into concupiscence.

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