Adam and Eve didn't have sex until after the Fall?

As others have noted, the Bible doesn’t say. St. Augustine definitely taught that Adam and Eve had sex in the garden, but it was kind of “controlled” See City of God, Book 14, Chapter 26, entitled: “That We are to Believe that in Paradise Our First Parents Begat Offspring Without the Shame of Lust” and also Chapter 18: “Of the Shame Which Attends All Sexual Intercourse.” As I recall, St. Jerome argued there was definitely no sex in paradise, since there is no sex in heaven,

Why would St. Jerome say that? Genesis 1:28 has God commanding Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.

Deacons are wonderful, dedicated people.

However, sad to say, there are people, not all people, who never learned the deeper issues of Adam and Eve beyond the cute children’s books. There is a Catholic teaching regarding the transmission of the state of Original Sin which would exclude children before Original Sin. Logically, a descendant of Adam cannot “contract” the state of Original Sin before it was committed. “Contracted” is the word in the teaching.

Many, not all, Catholics, sad to say, do not realize that the contemporary teachings of Catholicism are contained in a book titled Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.
Particular teachings about human origin, human nature, and Original Sin are in paragraphs 355 - 421. Very interesting even if it takes a month to study them.

I have also heard it said that the fruit and the tree was a symbol for when man stopped being caveman and started to grow crops. This version makes a lot of sense, in that people did used to run around naked living on fruit and whatever they could catch in the wild. One day we decided to start wearing clothing and grow things.

Pax :signofcross:

Logically, how could humans live before the origin of human nature?

Not every word of every saint automatically became a doctrine of the Catholic Church.

It is the Holy Spirit Who guided the major Church Councils. Recall that often there were years, even centuries, of study of the Scriptures, Traditions, Apostolic teachings, writings of the early Church fathers east and west, communications including letters on the way to martyrdom, previously declared doctrines, current writings of saintly people, liturgical practices, etc., before a doctrine was properly studied and duly declared according to the protocol of the visible Church on earth.

Please point out where I said or even implied that this was the case. I was only offering the opinions of two respected theologians–who actually happened to differ on the matter.

?? I really don’t understand where you are coming from.

I’d say Jerome saw this command as an sort of a concession to carnal desire. Here’s the quote from his “Letter to Eustochium”; see what you can make of it:

“Be fruitful,” God says, “and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen 1:28). He who desires to replenish the earth may in- crease and multiply if he will. But the train to which you belong is not on earth, but in heaven. The command to increase and multiply first finds fulfillment after the expulsion from paradise, after the nakedness and the fig-leaves which speak of sexual passion. In paradise Eve was a virgin, and it was only after the coats of skins that she began her married life. Now paradise is your home too. Keep therefore your birthright and say: “Return unto thy rest, O my soul” (Ps 116:7). I praise wedlock, I praise marriage, but it is because they give me virgins.

I’ve heard some things before, but this takes the cake. It’s not as if we’re asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

The fall, human nature, sin, Adam and Eve, temptation, we’re kinda talking about fundamental underpinnings of our faith here.

Moving on…

So question to those talking about the fruit from the tree: the tree is called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This has always got me to thinking: presumably, Adam and Eve are punished for willful disobedience to God, right? The next assumption I make is that they should know that willful disobedience to God is a sin, or “evil”.

So what really bothers me here is that Genesis almost implies that Adam and Eve did not know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. That is implied by the name of the tree.

Unless there’s some translation problem here, Genesis would have us believe that Adam and Eve were punished not for willful sin, but for an accident.

This just doesn’t sound right. So where am I going astray in my interpretation? Or was the fall truly just an innocent mistake?


Knowledge of Sex in of itself is Not Sin
Knowledge of the Lust aspect is what creates Sexual Depravity.

It was not Sex but Disobedience to God and Lust that entered into Adam and Eve after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. There was no Shame in their nakedness before this event. All a sudden their eyes were opened, they knew the shame of their nakedness because they realized their disobedience to God and they understood the sensibilities of Lust could become part of their Sexuality. And they became Shamed by it by trying to hide their nakedness in the Garden. And God later said; Who told Thee that Thou was Naked?

Its not a fundamental underpinning of our faith as to whether Adam and Eve had sex before the Fall!!

The fall itself was the result of disobedience and hence a tragedy.

But that does not mean to say all results and consequences of the fall were wrong or sinful.

For example, if there hadn’t been a fall, Jesus wouldn’t have had to come onto the Earth. And the coming of Jesus was a good thing, right?

So saying that sex only occurred after the fall (and may hence in some way be a consequence of the fall) is not the same as saying sex is in itself sinful.

I know C.S. Lewis isn’t canon (or even Catholic) but he does develop some interesting thoughts on this, and suggests that had the fall not occureed, humans would have been elevated to a staus a bit like angels. A possible consequence of this would be that being immortal they wouldn’t need to procreate. Procreation after all is only the mirror of death.

My understanding C.S. Lewis after his conversion eventually became involved as an Orthodox High-Anglican. Yet looking at the many books and letters he wrote would make anyone obviously this he was Catholic. Especially after reading the Screw-tape Letters and his Letters addressed to Malcolm as with his close friend J.R. Tolkien.

My apology. “Opinions” should be considered an open topic.

/?? I really don’t understand where you are coming from.

I am coming from basic knowledge as to how the visible Catholic Church actually operates on this earth. The operations of any organization should be considered an open topic.

The reason it does not sound right is that Adam’s human nature is constantly misinterpreted by many, including some Catholics.


However, in order to understand the “symbolism” of the tree of knowledge, one has to understand Adam’s human nature in addition to understanding the ultimate purpose of human nature, in addition to recognition of the existence of a transcendent, pure spirit, personal God, in addition to understanding the established personal relationship between God, the Creator, and Adam, the creature, in addition to knowing the condition for maintaining a relationship between the Creator and the created, in addition to recognizing that as a solid unity, the whole human race is in Adam as one body of one man.

Once the above context is in place, then one would be ready to read about the symbolism of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” found in paragraph 396, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. Corresponding references for this paragraph include paragraphs 1730, 311, and 301.

When it comes to who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and all the questions in between, Catholicism is more than the cutesy children’s books about Adam and Eve and their fig leaves.


Bible means Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Oh dear. You need to look at Genesis, friend.
Chapter 2 vs 17
But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.
Chapter 3 vs 5
For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.
Don’t let people’s warped interpretations control your thoughts.
Free your mind.
Read scripture a lot AND pray a lot AND read the clear-minded checked and re-checked help in the Catechism.
I can guarantee the world will be a different place when you take that marvelous plunge. :slight_smile:

And so if they had sex then they HAD to have children? I did not say anything about having kids and neither did my deacon…

Human nature was there before the fall, the fall did not create human nature, it simply changed it.

Pax :signofcross:

So eating the fruit made us like God? Got it.

The apple was seeking to grasp the knowledge of good and evil, that is, to be able to decide for themselves what was right and wrong rather than allowing God that prerogative. Adam and Eve had been instructed to multiply prior to the fall, if they weren’t attempting to do that then that is another one of their sins, disobedience.

It just says “fruit of the tree of knowlege”. No apple, quience, or any other horticultural reference is given, just that it was some sort of fruit.

Special, knowledgy, fruit that is.

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