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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Was Adam's Role in the Fall?

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Don Stewart
Though Eve was deceived by the serpent, Scripture seems to say that Adam was not:

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression (1 Timothy 2:13,14).

Adam's sin is usually characterized as deliberately eating of the fruit after his wife was deceived. It is contended that he was not deceived but that he purposely ate of the tree. We are not told why he did it. There have been several suggestions as to why he would do something like this.

1.Perish With Wife Together?

It is argued that Adam ate of the fruit so that he could perish with his wife. This view sees Adam committing an act of great love. Eve was now in a sinful condition and he did not want her to be alone in this lost state. Thus he also ate the fruit. This romantic explanation has no basis in Scripture. Adam's guilt is assumed along with Eve's. Furthermore, Adam's attitude toward Eve was anything but romantic when confronted by God about his sin.

The man said, The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it (Genesis 3:12).

He blamed his wife. What a difference from his experience about her before the Fall.

The man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man (Genesis 2:23).


It may have been that Adam merely wanted to try the fruit and see what it was like. He may have wondered what the result would be if he entered into a sinful state. Therefore Adam sinned out of curiosity rather than from the deception of Satan. His sin was desiring to discover something new - something he had no business finding out about. The Bible warns us about being babes when it come to the knowledge of evil.

Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults (1 Corinthians 14:20).

After Eve

Some interpreters see this a different way. This passage may be emphasizing that Adam was not deceived first. That is Adam was deceived by Satan but not until after his wife had been deceived. The emphasis then would be on the timing of Adam's being deceived, not the fact that he was not deceived. Either way it was his personal choice to go against the clear Word of God.


Adam's role in the Fall is something that is not clear. For whatever reason, he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Whether deceived or not, the responsibility was certainly his and his alone.

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