by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3 Lincolnton, NC October 17, 2004
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
1901 ASV Translation:
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve;
14 and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression:
15 but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.
In chapter two verse 14, the Nestle/Aland 26 has an emphatic form of the Textus Receptus' word for "deceived". That makes the Nestle/Aland 26's statement "...the woman was quite deceived...", whereas the Textus Receptus simply says "...the woman was deceived...". These variations are modest differences and do not overly affect Paul's meaning.
I. There Are Two Issues Here.
A. The Issue of Creation Order.
B. The Issue of 'Deception'.
II. The Question of Creation Order: What is Paul's Point About Creation Order?
A. His use of "formed" is interesting in that it has Romans 9 overtones where the "thing formed" has no right to calumniate the choices of the "Form-er".
B. The "problem" of the text is the woman's desire to gain appreciation and her determination to accomplish that by gaining attention.
1. The connection between her objective and her method is, from Paul's perspective, a "connection of futility"...she cannot gain appreciation by self-promotion.
2. The connection between this and Paul's "first formed" thesis...
a. The insistence by Paul that a woman remain "in complete subjection" is an insistence that a woman absolutely forego the notion of self-promotion.
b. The issue of Adam being "first formed" is related in that God has a plan to impart Life that includes His ordered creation work. Adam was "formed" to lead the divine program; Eve was "formed" as a "helper" to supply what was lacking in Adam. Many women take the "lack" as a reason to disrespect the man as if woman has no lack, but this is altogether a mistake because God did not create male or female to be independently sufficient for His program. The apostle's point is that God's "formation" of male and female is His work as a Potter and neither male nor female have any basis for calumny.
III. The Question of "Deception": How Can Paul Make Such a Radical Distinction?
A. The apostle makes it clear that "teaching" is not to be done by women (for the purpose of self-promotion) because the woman was "quite deceived".
1. About what was Eve "deceived"?
a. However we answer that, it is clear that Paul has something in mind that was not equally true of Adam.
b. There is, perhaps, this implication: Eve thought that she could preserve her life by "transgressing" the divine prohibition while Adam, apparently, thought to join her in the threatened death by following her lead into transgression.
c. This makes Eve's choice a deluded "I-am-doing-this-to-maintain-my-life" and Adam's a determined "I-refuse-to-live-without-Eve".
2. In what sense was Adam "not" deceived?
a. Was he not "deceived" into thinking that he "had to have Eve" in order to be able to live?
b. Or, did he simply despair of "life" since Eve had transgressed?
c. Is it fundamental to man's perverted thought processes to think that the only way man would "sin" is if he is "victimized into it"?
1) It seems that men are always making the assumption that they would "do what is right" if they were not "tricked".
2) The claim of Scripture is that "sin" is not a failure of clarity; it is naked lust for something denied.
3) In other words, Adam's "sin" was not a matter of his not "knowing" with clarity; his "sin" was, alternatively, a matter of rebellion against God because he could not maintain his prerogatives by remaining under God.
4) The bottom line seems to be thus: Adam, unlike Eve, clearly understood that he was being asked to "love" God more than any other (including himself) and he, seeing the price of "love" in the real world of already fallen adversaries, flatly refused. Eve, apparently, did not understand this clearly because she was led into thinking that "Life" was an independent commodity, separate from God.
5) The consequent conclusion seems to be thus: women tend to view divine instruction in terms of "how to live" while they should be viewing it in terms of "how to love". "Living" requires skillful manipulation of the principles; "loving" requires putting God first. "Dressing a certain way" and "usurping the teaching office" are manipulations of the processes; "good works" are expressions of "love". Fallen women are all about "being loved"; godly women are all about "loving".
d. Adam was "not deceived" in that he apparently understood clearly that he was being asked to love God...and he flatly refused.
1) Is there, then, no "deception" underlying "rebellion"?
2) Rebellion is presented in Scripture as the attempt to supplant God and it is handled by God as altogether worthy of destructive retaliation.
3) Is it not "foolish" of the clay to rise up against the Potter, and does not "foolishness" involve deluded thinking?
a) It is delusional for a creature to think he can defeat the Creator.
b) It is not a matter of "being deceived" to begin to think delusionally because "being deceived" presupposes a wiley "other" who is attempting to direct the thinking of the "victim". In the beginning of sin, there was no "other"; there was only the creature who was lusting after a contrary-to-love method of dominion. It is, perhaps, most crucial for man to come to grips with the fact that "Sin" requires no outside cause and is not an "inevitability" for creatures (not all of the angels bought into the lust for dominion). All "Sin" requires is that the creature define "Life" in terms of dominion rather than service.