If Eve sinned first, how come "death entered through one man"?

Technically, at the point Eve sinned everything was still ok. It wasn’t until Adam ate of the fruit that the sin caused death.

Doesn’t this mean that Eves sin was “ok” for a few seconds before Adam sinned? In which case, sin was ok?

Or was it that Eve never sinned at all seeing how God never told her not to eat from the tree? So Eve never sinned herself but automatically became contaminated by Adams sin because she had been formed from Adam (like we all are).

P.S. The reason i’m trying to figure this out is because i’m trying to come to an understanding of how Jesus is the new Adam and Mary is the new Eve.

Eve sinned first, but original sin is transmitted through the biological seed. We inherited Adam’s sin, not Eve’s.

A few other fun thoughts… Eve is representative of the concupiscence and flesh, Adam of the intellect and will.

Eve was the first one to be totally disobedient to God, Mary was the first one to be totally obedient to God.

Adam should have died at the Tree protecting Eve from the serpent, Christ dies on a tree to save us from everlasting death, just as the bronze serpent that was lifted up in the desert by Moses healed physical wounds.

It’s endless. But Adam’s sin is the one that is transmitted, so that is why it is through “one man.”

Harry, you’ve posted a number of times attempting a literal interpretation of Genesis. No matter how many times you post, the answer is the same: it’s not literal.

From the Catechism:

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.

404 … by yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.

The way I once heard it was: It is not that Eve’s sin was *“okay” *so much as Adam’s sin was damning.

Had Adam not sinned, God could have destroyed Eve and taken another of Adam’s ribs to make a new and innocent help-mate. Once Adam sinned, however, any such recourse was lost.


That is not what the Church teaches.

You can perhaps argue that Catholics may not be required to believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis, but you cannot claim definitively that Genesis cannot be interpreted literally.

Pope Leo XIII says in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus “not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires.” Pope St. Pius X followed him and decreed in Lamentabili Sane “Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.” The burden of proof lies on the one who claims that the literal interpretation is false. The Catechism rightly points out that there is figurative language, but that does not exclude the possibility of a literal translation. God orders history so that events that truly happen can have meaning beyond their literal sense.

I always thought that with Adam’s sin, all of humanity was lost, because at that point, all humans had sinned. If only Eve had sinned, there might have been some way of redeeming humanity from within. I admit that I got some of this from C. S. Lewis, and I don’t pretend that this is official Church teaching. OTOH, I don’t think it is particularly contrary to Church teaching, either.

I understand that the story is symbolic rather than literal, but God wrote the story, so I expect the symbolism to be thorough.


Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any worse!


Man that couldn’t get more [edited].

It is possible that in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 St Paul was using a figure of speech called synecdoche, where a part is used for the whole, i.e., “one man … Adam” meant “one man and one woman … Adam and Eve.”

Eve committed a sin before Adam did, but if Adam had remained faithful to God we would not have inherited original sin since Adam alone was the representative of the human race. Eve’s sin was never “okay” since she committed a mortal sin the moment she ate the forbidden fruit, but it only affected her and had no effect on the human race. Once she successfully tempted Adam to fall with her, she shared in his transgression which has made women suffer subjection to their husbands among other things. Since woman had a share in the fall of man, she should also have a share in the redemption of man (the role that the Blessed Virgin fulfilled).

Therefore original sin, is contracted, not from the mother, but from the father: so that, accordingly, if Eve, and not Adam, had sinned, their children would not contract original sin: whereas, if Adam, and not Eve, had sinned, they would contract it. Summa Theologica

For her share in the transgression, Eve (and womankind after her) is sentenced to a life of sorrow and travail, and to be under the power of her husband. Doubtless this last did not imply that the woman’s essential condition of equality with man was altered, but the sentence expresses what, in the nature of things, was bound to follow in a world dominated by sin and its consequences. … But if woman was the occasion of man’s transgression and fall, it was also decreed in the Divine counsels, that she was to be instrumental in the scheme of restoration which God already promises while in the act of pronouncing sentence upon the serpent. Catholic Encyclopedia

It’s figurative as 1ke pointed out.
Man: Man and woman, together, as in mankind.
Lets not start making up issues where there is none.
The catechism covers it very clearly.

[quote=tee_eff_em]God could have destroyed Eve and taken another of Adam’s ribs to make a new and innocent help-mate.

How many ribs might Adam have lost before his new mate managed to resist the forbidden fruit? Adam might have ended up full of grace but rather short on ribs.

[quote=tee_eff_em]Once Adam sinned, however, any such recourse was lost.

Surely God could have destroyed Adam and started again, couldn’t He?

[quote=Confiteor Deo]Eve’s sin was never “okay” since she committed a mortal sin the moment she ate the forbidden fruit, but it only affected her and had no effect on the human race.

So Original Sin is only passed on from father to children, and not from the mother? How does that work?

I don’t quite understand…How is Adam alone representative of the human race? I mean he was half of the entire human race at this point in time (or the story anyway), but still “only” half.

Is the issue that once Adam ate as well, all of humanity had fallen so there was no way back (until Christ) - or that Eve (or woman, in general) is not regarded as being capable spiritually or physically in contributing much to going forth and multiplying? Why should Eve’s transgression only affect her, herself, and not any potential offspring?

I read the bit of Aquinas you linked to, C.D. - but while I follow it I don’t really get it!

I believe Sin entered the world through Cain and his seedline (Gen 4).

I also believe Cains seedline eventually killed Jesus as prophecied in (Gen 3).

Adam added onto Gods word by adding the touching part, but look carefully, it suggests eve beheld (held/touched) the fruit while contemplating eating it. Adams pride likely preventing him voicing up.

(It’s almost as if the woman did something with the serpent (‘shining’ in hebrew), and turned around and did the same to her husband. Since both were

I heard this said by a priest at a retreat. I do not know if it is speculative or not.

The priest said that since Adam was the head of Eve his wife, Adam could have said “no, I will not eat of the forbidden fruit.” Because he listened to his wife, whom he was the head of, that is why it is said that all sinned through Adam.

I think some just like to stir up controversy. God Bless, Memaw

That’s points in the direction of an argument for a husband never listening to his wife! I’ve always been rather irritated by what Adam says to the Lord when they are found out…basically blaming his wife. They’re both at fault in different ways maybe which perhaps answers, on reflection, the question I posed further up the thread…

Adam does not blame his wife.

Adam blames God! :eek:
The woman, whom you gave me, she gave me the fruit, and so I ate it.


Has anyone actually read all the verses in the first three chapters of Genesis?

My apology, but apparently, the essential verses regarding Adam and Eve are being ignored. Or if they have actually been read, they are considered figurative or symbolic without an explanation of what they represent.

Personally, I find that skipping essential verses in the first three chapters of Genesis will eventually lead to denying the necessity of the Divinity of Jesus Christ as taught by the Catholic Church. In addition, I wonder why no one points to the dramatic shift in the first chapter. Maybe the first chapter has not been read in its entirety.

Again, my apology. I do not mean to be rude.

However, I am very curious why certain realities which flow from the first three chapters of Genesis are not mentioned when talking about Adam and Eve. :eek:

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