Ten Reasons: Representation

 

The second air-tight, undeniable argument showing male headship before the fall is:

“The representation – Adam, not Eve, had a special role in representing the human race. Look at the Genesis narrative, we find that Eve sinned first, and then Adam sinned. (Genesis 3:6.) Since Eve sinned first, we might expect that the New Testament would tell us that we might expect that the New Testament would tell us that we inherit a sinful nature because of Eve’s sin, or that we are counted guilty because of Eve’s sin. The New Testament does not say “as in Eve all die” but rather (1 Corinthians 15:22.) This is further seen in the parallel between Adam and Christ, where Paul views Christ as the “last Adam”: (1 Corinthians 15:45-49, also Romans 5:12-21, where another relationship between Adam and Christ is developed. It is unmistakable then that Adam has a leadership role in representing the entire human race, a leadership role that Eve did not have. Nor did Adam and Eve together represent the human race. Adam alone represented the human race, because he had a particular leadership role that God had given him, a role that Eve did not share.”

Yesterday, the author claimed that the order would have been very important to the original readers. But he doesn’t really care that Eve was the first sinner and that Adam was the last sinner because he can’t use that to prove male headship other than to say that women, like Eve, usurp the man’s authority and men, like Adam, are passive due to sin. He quotes Genesis 3:6, but I’ll add in 7 because it’s just as crucial to my line of thought: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

The woman ate some of the fruit. A lightening bolt from the sky did not strike her dead. She wasn’t turned into a pillar of salt. She didn’t ingest poison. In the moments between the woman eating the fruit and the man eating the fruit she was the only sinner but absolutely nothing had changed. She might have even thought it was a bad deal – that serpent said that it would do something and it didn’t. Dare I say it – she might have felt as if she had been deceived. So she gave some to the man. There are lots of times where people today do the same exact thing: “Is it just me or are the lights flickering?” “No, it’s not you, they are flickering. I see it, too.”

Now the man saw that the woman had eaten it and nothing bad happened to her. A lightning bolt from the sky did not strike her dead. She wasn’t turned into a pillar of salt. She didn’t die from eating poison. The man ate of the fruit and it wasn’t until he had that both their eyes were opened. It took both of them committing the same sin for both of them to feel the effects. The woman’s sin was incomplete until the man sinned, too. The Bible clearly states that while the woman was deceived, it was the man who broke the one commandment that God had directly given to him before the woman was created. She was the first to sin, but she wasn’t the only one at fault. Even when God was made aware of the sin, the man wasn’t blamed or doubly punished on the woman’s behalf. The account shows us that the one commandment that God had given the man was not identical to the version that the woman told the serpent. The man was with the woman the whole time, and he too was asked the same question: “Did God really say to you (as in the plural – y’all, you guys, both of you) …” So they were in it together, sinners together.

Now he can’t make the argument based on the story that Eve ate the fruit first that Adam represents the human race and therefore is the leader with the special role without using New Testament verses to back up his assertion; and even then, he mistakes parallels as proof of Genesis without any direct statement that says what he says the Bible says. He has to step outside of Genesis to prove Genesis had male head-ship pre-fall. Never mind that’s a lot like trying to save a democracy by abandoning it altogether.

1 Corinthians 15:22 does state: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Perhaps Paul’s point is more along the lines: “For as in the sinner all die, so in the sinless all will be made alive.” Look at the context of that chapter – the first half talks about the Resurrection of Christ:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

Odd, Adam’s headship as the representation of humanity isn’t mentioned as being among the things passed on to the believers from Paul that are of first importance or are most important. Maybe it’s in the next section – the one about the resurrection of the dead:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Cor. 15:20-23)

Paul’s not above using people and events from the Old Testament to prove a New Testament point – if Adam represents death, then Christ represents life. If Adam represents the natural, then Christ represents the spirit. If Adam represents earthly people, then Christ represents heavenly people. Claiming a thing is representative of another thing does not give that thing the leadership or authority over the thing it represents. Same goes with drawing parallels.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body … If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. (1 Cor. 15:42-49)

In this whole chapter, Paul’s not making the point that Adam has representation of humanity and therefore is the leader of humanity for all time. Paul’s talking about the resurrection of Christ, the dead, and the body. Sure, he talks a bit about Adam in his parallel, but that’s not to affirm what the author says Genesis says but actually doesn’t say. Romans uses a similar metaphor, but this verse points (Rom. 5:19) to my earlier thought: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” The woman might have been first, but her sin was incomplete until the man disobeyed God, too. Keep in mind that Paul lives in a patriarchy and talking about Eve being the original sinner would have likely inflamed their already anti-woman beliefs in general and legitimized their eternal second-class status as judgement upon their gender. The last thing Paul needed to do was to give the men any more reason to treat the women worse than they already did.

“It is unmistakable that adam had a leadership role in representing the entire human race, a leadership role that Eve did not have.”

A few years ago, I had the honor of representing my family at an important social event. No one would have assumed that because I was the representative that it mean that I was the leader of my entire family. Recently, Kim Davis represented the views of other Christians. No one would assume that because she was the representative of like-minded Christians that she was their leader as well. Now take a look at say, Galatians 4:21-31;

Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written:

“Be glad, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.”

Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

In this passage, Hagar and Sarah are both representatives of something else, but that doesn’t mean that we teach that they are leaders of the things they represent. Paul does the same exact things with the parallels between Adam and Christ; it’s very much like this parallel in it’s own way, where Adam is like Hagar and Christ is like Sarah.

“Nor did Adam and Eve together represent the human race. Adam alone represented the human race, because he had a particular leadership role that God had given him, a role that Eve did not share.”

This statement combined with the one before it amounts to circular reasoning: “Adam represents the human race because he is the leader. Adam is the leader because he represents the human race.”

The author missed 2 Corinthians 11: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

Eve represents us as believers, and just like her, Paul’s worried that we may somehow be led astray. Does that mean that Adam represents and leads sinners and Eve represents and leads the righteous? That passage also warns us to beware of the super-apostles, others of the wolves in sheep’s clothing, and still others of the antichrists in our midst that seem to be angels of light, harmless, and good but are really not one of us who do a lot of harm. They preach anther gospel one that’s not of Christ. Let’s be sure that we don’t confuse the two and follow the wrong one – we can be sure we’re following the right one so long as Christ is the focus of it’s teachings.

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6 thoughts on “Ten Reasons: Representation

  1. Makes you wonder why it is that when Adam is blamed for the fall, it shows he has some kind of leadership over…everyone, but when Eve is blamed for the fall (like in Timothy), it’s used as an excuse for all women to be subjugated for all time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting perspective and very thought provoking. 🙂 I also want to thank you for making me aware of some issues with the ministry I have supported in my own blog. I will look into it. Have a great Christmas.

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    1. Thanks! And you’re welcome. I really wish that ministries would be transparent and have nothing to hide – then they’d never give people reason to accuse them of irresponsibility. Until that happens, it’s up to us to do a little homework on where the money goes. When I was a kid, I did a fund-raiser, we thought it would go for things like books and supplies – instead it went into redecorating the principal’s already lavish office. Then the left-over would go to books and supplies. It was a sad lesson about the reality of money. If you think that ministry does a good job when only a part of the money goes to poor countries, imagine how well other ministries do when all of the money goes to a poor country. Which would you rather invest in?

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      1. Yes, GFA claims to use 100% of its donations for all it is designated for. All the same, I am waiting to hear back from my contact to see what she has to say about the matters you brought up. Thanks again. 🙂 Debbie

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