I’m no expert but wasn’t the serpent(satan), being a fallen angel, much more intelligent than Adam and Eve? Shouldn’t God have given Adam and Eve a heads up about this character? Better yet, why was the serpent in the garden in the first place? Why didn’t God banish him like he did later with Adam and Eve?
Good questions, most of which are mysteries that have not been fully revealed. You are right that as a fallen angel, Satan is still generally more intelligent than most, including our Adam and Eve. God only gave the warning not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. How the serpent was in the garden, I do not know either. I remember thinking, “if it wasn’t for Adam and Eve messing up, we would still be in Paradise!” The real mystery that has not been fully revealed is why God allowed all of this, and pain in general. However, with Christ as the “new Adam”, we have hope of returning to Paradise again.
CCC 397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.  All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.
I think God wanted to test them, but from reading the story, it teaches that when the Lord forbids you to do something, you aren’t supposed to ask questions, because he knows best. God didn’t give them the reason behind his orders, because he expected them to trust in him, which they failed to realize and do.
I just finished reading Milton’s “Paradise Lost” which attempts to answer all your questions.
Satan did sneak into the garden and disguised himself as a snake and basically flattered Eve into eating the apple. Adam decided to eat the apple because he did not want to live without Eve. God did give Adam a heads up through the Angel Raphael who advised him not to disobey God. However God ultimately knew that Adam and Eve would be cast out of the garden, and his Son would eventually redeem the world. Without being cast out of the garden there would be no need for God’s mercy and the grace of Jesus Christ.
It depends on your background. Judaism sees the serpent as the serpent. he is wily conniving sneakiest of critters but he is still a critter. in Christian theology and in the fullness of both testaments we see the serpent as the tempter.
What does the tempter do? He persuades Adam and Eve that even after all that God has done for them, they shouldn’t trust God. God didn’t say to stay away from the tree of knowledge because of any care of the duo but, Satan says, God is jealous of them
. It’s not just disobedience but envy, distrust, pride and all the myriad of sins humans are prone to.that Adam and Eve are guiltyof. Even if they might have been innocent in many ways the pull of self-interest and power was to much to overcome.
Milton was a poet amongst other things, but not a theologian…and Paradise Lost and Regained are poems!
I’m wondering how all this was thought to have been recorded…it sounds like Adam (or Eve) kept a diary!
God told Adam not to eat, God did not tell Eve not to eat, the serpent figure slandered God, “you will not die”, with unashamed lies (not just half-truths), therefore not just a serpent, someone opposed to and anti God, the eyes of them both were only opened AFTER Adam took, which means there was no affect on Eve until Adam himself was affected. Adam blamed God for giving him Eve (this woman you gave me made me do it), Eve blamed God for the existence of the serpent.
It’s just that Milton gave great thought to theology when he was writing it and instead of calling upon a muse to guide him he called upon the Holy Spirit. Of course it’s a poem, but a very deep one full of references to the Bible. Of course Milton was very imaginative with Satan’s thoughts. Paradise Regained is also interesting. It shows how Jesus refuted Satan’s temptations in the wilderness, and the difference between the Fall of mankind and the perfect goodness of Jesus.
Even if we take the story as allegory, it still illustrates some primeval event about which (as the Catechism states): “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.”
That is what we must believe. Whether we believe that their names were literally Adam and Eve or that the devil literally appeared in the form of a snake encouraging them to eat a literal piece of fruit from a literal tree is open to debate. What is not open for debate is that our first parents were tempted by the devil and committed the first sin (whatever it may have been) thereby impugning human nature with Original Sin.
My what an open mind you have. I doubt you have even read it. Of course he doesn’t speak for the church. But he does have some very sound theology. He was a very intelligent and religious man who knew the Church Fathers’ works as well as the Bible thoroughly. You can learn things from many sources, not just the Catholic Catechism.