In the traditional teaching of the churches, Eve gets named as the companion of Adam who coaxes him to sin against God. This fall from grace afflicts the human race until the end of time. Eve is the "tool of the devil" that betrays her husband.
The purpose of this book is to enable you to read the hidden clues in the text of Gen 1-3 in order to discover the "original meaning" of the text . In so doing, you will be surprised to discover that the "original meaning" differs strongly from what the churches have been teaching. Examples:
With this as our starting point, it can be seen that the theological tradition of the churches is a very unreliable interpretation of this very important text
- When the text of Gen 2-3 is examined, Eve's "fall from grace" is never mentioned. On the contrary, the eating of the fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is associated with wondrous super powers: "their eyes were opened" (Gen 3:5, 7). This is all the more wondrous in so far as these transformations enable Eve and Adam to see things clearly as God sees them. Far from being a "fall," therefore, Eve's eating enables her to become "like God" (Gen 3:6, 22).
- Classical theology speaks of Eve as being deceived by the devil who was bent upon the destruction of Adam. The "serpent" described in the text is never associated with the "devil" at any point. Rather, you will discover that the "serpent" functions as a spirit-guide within ancient Middle Eastern culture. Far from deceiving Eve, this "serpent" is assuredly a truth-teller: "You will not die [when you eat this fruit]; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen 3:5-6). And, according to the story of Genesis, this is exactly what happens.
- Adam, meanwhile, has been telling Eve that God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die" (Gen 3:3). When Eve touches the fruit, however, nothing happens. Adam clearly is mistaken. So, she eats it. And the eating has wondrous effects. Thus, Eve exposes the errors of Adam on both counts. We can even surmise that Eve trusted God to be a gentle and wise parent who would never cultivate a poisonous fruit tree in his garden if he knew that he was endangering the life of his children. Adam, strange to say, never took the time to explore the deep contradictions between what God told him ["you will die"] and what the serpent told Eve ["you will be like God"].
- According to the Genesis account, Eve and Adam are expelled from the Garden. According to the prevailing theology of the churches, this expulsion takes place due to God abhorrence of their grave sin [the "original sin"] that God was seemingly unable or unwilling to forgive. The text itself provides quite another explanation: "The LORD God said, 'See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever,' therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden" (Gen 3:22-23). In effect, therefore, God has planted not one but two empowering trees: "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and "the tree of eternal life." Having been empowered by eating of the former tree, God figures that it would just be a matter of time before his children ate of the latter tree that would seemingly make them "live forever" just as God does.
- God intended his children to be mortal. The text specifies this intention clearly, "You are [made out of] dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen 3:19). Hence, contrary to traditional theology, Adam and Eve were never designed for immortality, but their sin caused God to change his mind. The text says that God assigns the immortal "cherubim" the task of "guard[ing] the way to the tree of life" (Gen 3:24). Here again the text indicates clearly that "sin" was not an issue here; rather, protection of the "tree of life" was God's primary concern.
- It is instructive that Eve and Adam and all their children lived nearly a thousand years. If we trust the bible when it teaches us that a long life is a sign of God's blessing, then we have to conclude that Eve and Adam were wondrously blessed with long lives. God had no cause to curse them, and he was surely not unable or unwilling to forgive his children for some imagined "grave sin." The pangs of childbearing are cursed and the sweat from tilling the soil is cursed—but God never once curses his children. In fact, just before leaving Eden, God gave both his children a very necessary gift. Maybe you know what that gift might be.
- Why do Adam and Eve suddenly become aware that they are naked after eating the prescious fruit of the first tree? Why do they hide from each other and hide from God? The answer to this key question will amaze you. Do you already have a hunch?
. The purpose of this study, consequently, is to surface a lost interpretation of Genesis which will indeed be good news for our ears and for our lives. Meanwhile, the text itself will be purged of the misguided condemnation of Eve and of her children. Rather, in the end, Eve will be again admired and appreciated as the explorer of our salvation and the heroine behind Adam’s transformation.
My book is an easy read. It demontrates step-by-step how a research theologian like myself works to uncover the "original meaning" of the text of Genesis. Then, as an extra treat, my book goes on to show why and how church teachers of the 2nd century deliberately covered over the image of Eve as the "pioneer of Adam's salvation" in favor of presenting Eve as the "gateway of the devil bent on corrupting Adam and all his children."
Here is what Deb said to me:
"Dr. Milavec, you are the first person who has allowed me to discover the 'good news' about Eve in the bible. Essentially, Eve is the explorer and the innovator--just exactly the sort of helpmate that Adam so desperately needed. In my church where only men are trusted to be ordained, this original 'good news' about Eve is just what the Catholic Church needs to shake off its ugly, prejudicial bias against women."
To read my eBook on your PC, get free app at https://www.google.com/search?q=kindle+reader&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
Peace and joy in learning and in-depth understanding,
Aaron Milavec, BS physics, STB, ThD, theologian, poet, advocate, public speaker