Household Leadership: According to the Bible, which gender should lead?

Jay Dee

Household Leadership: According to the Bible, which gender should lead?

Apr 16, 2014

Who should lead in the household? This is a question that is being seriously debated these days, and Christians are all over the map on this one. Some believe husbands should be, some the wives. Some believe there should be no leader, some

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According To The Bible Which Gender Should Lead

Who should lead in the household? This is a question that is being seriously debated these days, and Christians are all over the map on this one. Some believe husbands should be, some the wives. Some believe there should be no leader, some believe it doesn’t make a difference, and some believe they should lead together, which seems to mean no one is leading, or they’re fighting more than accomplishing anything.

So, what does the Bible say? After all, if we are Christians, and believe that God’s “word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path” (Psalm 119:105), then that should be our first stop for such guidance.

The New Testament On Household Leadership

Probably the most contended passage on this subject is in Ephesians 5

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. – Ephesians 5:21-24

However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. Ephesians 5:33

Do you see the problem? In verse 21, we see “Be subject to one another” which sounds egalitarian (no roles). Then in the very next verse, it shifts to husbands being the leaders of the family. It doesn’t help that each translation of the Bible seems to choose for itself whether or not this first verse is part of this section, or part of the previous section. Is it talking about marriage, or not? After all, if this is the same writer (Paul) writing to the same audience (The church in Corinth), about the same topic (marriage), one sentence after the other, they should match. So, what do we do with this? Well, there are a lot of theories, but honestly, no one seems to have a definitive answer that everyone agrees on. For me, when in doubt, I go find more scripture, because the Bible should agree with itself.

So, when we check Paul’s other writings, we see his thoughts on the matter:

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. – 1 Corinthians 11:3

For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man – 1 Corinthians 11:8-9

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. – Titus 2:3-5

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. – Colossians 3:18

But, maybe it’s just Paul. I’ve heard that Paul just really didn’t like women for some reason. We have another author, lets see what Peter has to say in 1 Peter 3:1,2

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].
1 Peter 3:1-2

Alright, so it doesn’t look like Paul was alone. Maybe Paul and Peter were influenced by a Greco-Roman patriarchal society or they were trying to fit their message so as not to be too offensive to the culture of the time. Now, I always had a problem with this argument, because Paul didn’t seem interested in moderating his speeches enough to keep him out of prison, nor did Peter do so to keep from being killed, but let’s say this is cultural. This is a common argument because you can use “culture” to argue away just about every difficult statement in the Bible. People love to play the “culture” card when the Bible doesn’t suit their individual desires or philosophies. But, I say the Bible has an answer to this as well.

The Old Testament On Household Leadership

Let’s go back to Genesis. Back to creation, before there were people, before there was culture. Surely there can be no cultural interference if there is no culture yet in existence.

The creation story, particularly the creation of humans, is a very interesting story when you start looking for clues about gender roles.

Now, most of you know the story of creation, but for those who are a little rusty, or haven’t heard the Biblical account, a quick review:

“In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2

So, basically God starts with a blank slate. First He creates light and separates light from dark on day 1. Day 2, he creates the separation we would call the atmosphere. Water above and water below. Day 3 He moves the water around and creates dry land, and fills it with plant life. Day 4 He creates the sun, the moon and the stars. Day 5 He creates fish and birds. Now Day 6 is where it gets interesting for our discussion.

God creates all the animals that walk on the ground, and then seems to confer with the other persons in the God-head and they say “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26) (emphasis mine)

It goes on to say

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27

But that’s sort of a summary version of the actual events. Later on, Genesis 2 gives us far more detail. Genesis 2:7 starts off the detailed account of the creation of mankind.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7

Here we have the creation of the first person. He is male, and his name basically is “the man”. There is some confusion about what his name literally means, it could mean “ruddy” from the dirt he was created from, or it could be a play on the Hebrew word for earth, but his name comes to represent mankind. And so when God names him, He seems to name him “the man”.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” – Genesis 2:15-17

And here God gives “the man” his role. He is to work and protect (the Hebrew word we translate as “take care of” literally means to build a hedge of thorns around it. It has the idea of protection, of guarding). That was his job, from the beginning. Before the female gender was ever created.

 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18

So God created “the man” gave him the job of working and protecting the garden and then He seems to think to himself or perhaps He discusses it in the God-Head “This isn’t done. We need something else.” What’s interesting is that He doesn’t tell “the man” this. He lets him continue on his merry way until he figures it out for himself.

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. – Genesis 2:19-20a

So, God gives “the man” another task. And it may seem sort of silly, to go name all the animals, but this is fairly significant in Biblical terms. Naming something establishes dominion and authority over it. God the Father names the earth, He names “the man”, He renames Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah and Jacob to Israel. Jesus renames Simon to Peter, and names John and James “the sons of thunder”. After His death and resurrection, Jesus renames Saul to Paul. Then in Revelation, we see Jesus promising those who are victorious in the church of Ephesus that they will get a white stone, with a new name written on it.

We also see this occur with Daniel and his 3 friends when they are captured and taken to Babylon. [Who remembers Daniel’s friends names?] [What about their Hebrew names?] [And Daniel’s Babylonian name?] They are given new names by the Babylonian king to signify that the Babylonian gods had dominion over them now.

Daniel => Belteshazzar

Hananiah => Shadrach

Mishael => Meshach

Azariah => Abednego

Now people will argue that this dominion was given to mankind back in Genesis 1:26, but there was no mankind yet according to Genesis 2:19. It was just “the man”.

And so, “the man” names all the animals and comes to a disappointing realization.

“But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” – Genesis 2:20b

With all the animals, he can recognize pairings. He realizes they are gendered and they have mates, and yet he cannot find one for himself in everything he has named. Now it’s like God says “OK, he figured it out, time to continue creating.”

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. – Genesis 2:21-22

So Eve was made to help him, to be suitable for him, and complement him.

And look what happens next.

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

Do you see it? Did you catch the significance of this. “The man” declares “She shall be called ‘woman’”! He names her…signifying his dominion, his authority, that she is under his protection. Have you ever noticed that before? Fascinating, isn’t it?

But we’re not done. Let’s fast forward to the Fall of mankind. This is another story that most people know the details of, but never really thought about it in terms of gender roles.

So, here’s the basic premise for those who are rusty or haven’t heard it. “the man” and “the woman”, because those are their names at this point in the story, are in the garden, and there is a tree in the garden that they are not to eat of. Do you remember that?

Who did God tell that they couldn’t eat from that tree?

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” – Genesis 2:15-17

He tells “the man”. At no point does God seem to breathe a word of this to “the woman”. It’s almost as if He assumes “the man” will tell her. This seems to imply, yet again, a hierarchy in the relationship.

Now, the story goes on. “the woman” meets “the serpent”, “the serpent” tempts “the woman” with “the fruit” (that one probably didn’t need quotes). “the woman” eats the fruit, and then gives some to “the man” who “was with her”. Now, I’m told the way Hebrew works, explicitly stating at this point that “the man” was with her means it was unlikely with her at the time of the temptation. I personally would lean towards this understanding of the verse, because of 1 Timothy 2:14 which tells us:

“And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” – 1 Timothy 2:14

This seems to indicate that “the man” (Adam) was not with “the woman” during the deception by “the serpent”. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t stand idly by and watch my wife as she’s being deceived.

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. – Genesis 3:6-7

So, “the woman” is tempted, seems to consider it for some time, then takes and eats it. Later, when “the man” is with her, she shares it with him. But, notice “the fall” of mankind does not occur until after “the man” knowingly eats the fruit. Why? Well, I think it is because it was his job to protect creation. The fall is due to his failing, not “the woman”’s. After all, as 1 Timothy 2:14 said “”the woman” was deceived, but “the man” knew what he was doing, and it was his job to protect both the garden and the woman, and God specifically told him not to eat from the tree.

The very next thing we see in Genesis is God walking through the garden, and again, God points to his appointed authority over creation:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:8-9

God doesn’t ask them where they are. God specifically calls to “the man” and they have this short exchange:

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” – Genesis 3:10-11

Now, in English this doesn’t jump out as much as in Hebrew, but all the “you”’s here are masculine singular. God says “Have you (“the man”) eaten from the tree that I commanded you (“the man”) not to eat from?” God basically ignores “the woman” in this exchange, though they are both there. Why?

God only told “the man” not to eat from the tree. What if “the man” instead of telling “the woman” “don’t eat from the tree” instead said “don’t touch the tree”. Not as a corruption of God’s instructions, but as an extra layer of precaution. Of course, “the woman” would ask “why”, because we humans are curious. And “the man” might answer “because I don’t want you to die”. This would explain “the woman”’s telling the serpent she was told not even to touch the tree lest she die (in order to prevent her death).

In this is the case case, then God asks “the man” why he ate, and not “the woman”, because ultimately it was “the man’s” responsibility to ensure neither of them ate from the tree.

After that God then hands out the curses to all involved, kicks them out of Eden and then we see a re-naming take place:

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. – Genesis 3:20

Adam doesn’t really get a new name, because Adam means “the man”, but Adam now renames his wife, declaring that he still was responsible for her and had authority over her, regardless of what happened in the garden. I often wonder how he felt after the fall. He knew he had failed her, and yet he wants to give her a beautiful name, Mother of all living. It just shows that despite the fact that she gave him the fruit, and he failed to protect her, all is forgiven and he’s going to do whatever he can to protect her now, and show her he cares for and loves her by doing the best he can in his God given role as the leader.

Your Turn

So, this is what we found in the Bible about who should lead the household.   Have you ever looked at Genesis in this light?  We found it absolutely fascinating.  What are your thoughts?

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24 thoughts on “Household Leadership: According to the Bible, which gender should lead?”

  1. Shan says:

    What translation are your excerpts from?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Amplified Version

  2. Dan says:

    I believe the husband has authority over his wife. I believe he can share authority over the family with his wife, but even then the final authority is his. I would point out that even if you don’t subscribe to a Biblical reason for practicing this, life would seem to prove it. I have yet to see a healthy marriage in which the man is submissive to the woman. It seems to go against a natural order even if you ignore theology. Even if the husband submits willingly, things do not run smoothly. At some point, the man rankles under his wife’s thumb because being subservient to her is not in his true nature. Not only will he be ineffective as a husband, as a man at his job, as a son with his father, as a brother to his own siblings, a fellow servant in Christ, but also as parent with his children. When not submissive, some women seem to prefer an egalitarian relationship, thus the hyphenated last name syndrome. I wonder if there are any divorce stats that would show hyphens split at a disproportionate ratio than all others.

    Discounting theology, the psyche of the woman strongly tends toward a desire to be cared for by her husband (Christ caring for his sheep) and to care for those under her charge (the church caring for it’s own, as well as widows and orphans). Women naturally gravitate toward this role. There are women in well paying jobs with challenging professional futures to pursue. Why is it that at some point even the unmarried professionals “feel the ticking of the biological clock” and yearn for a child? I’m sure for them it has little to do with “be fruitful and multiply as mandated in the Bible ” as much as it is their nature and purpose. Go argue nature or nurture somewhere else. I believe for some things there is an immutable plan regardless of your lack of theology. There is a natural order. Because you do not wish to ascribe it to a Supreme Being does not mean no order exists.

    Get you gnads out of her purse and do YOUR JOB.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Feel better now? Got that out of your system? *grin*

      1. Dan says:

        Yeah, I do and it is. (for now anyway) *grinning back*

  3. trixie1466 says:

    Jay, I pretty much agree with you here. Just a couple details that may seem trivial, but I believe they are important in understanding the complementarian nature out headship and submission. Your description of the forming of Eve here: ““This isn’t done. We need something else.” What’s interesting is that He doesn’t tell “the man” this. He lets him continue on his merry way until he figures it out for himself.” This description make it seem as if Eve was an afterthought. As if she wasn’t planned at the same time as Adam. As the bible tells us in Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” this was before Adam was made from the dust of the earth. The reason that is important is that we are both made in His image. As men you are made to be protectors, providers and conquerors. Masculine and strong. We are nurturers and while we are gentle we are also very strong. We can have quiet and gentle spirits because we are a reflection of God who has a quiet and gentle side, in addition to his very masculine, strong and aggressive side. Together we are picture of all the wonderful qualities of God. Man was never designed to be alone. He is the head in the relationship as that’s how God designed it. I find submission much easier now that I recognize that my submission is me reflecting God’s quiet and gentle spirit that doesn’t give way to fear. That’s very different than being dominated. My apologies for how long this got. I don’t usually write comments this long.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Oh, no argument there.

      1. FarAboveRubies says:

        This is a great article, Jay. I miss your wife’s comments because I enjoy her perspective too. Submissiveness came easy to me. Mom used to tell me in my youth, “You know that a (wedding) ring on your finger can easily turn into a (bull) ring in your nose!” She knew, as she and Dad raised me, that submissiveness is my tendencies. It was my decision to yield to my hubby. It was my choice. I wonder if husbands understand that her submissiveness is not something he can dictate. It has to be in her heart and must originate in her (letting the Holy Spirit deal with her).

        I’m an older gal and have been married for many years. During my entire marriage, I have been in many homes working along side my hubby. You can glean a lot while working for couples in their homes. It’s more than just a glimpse of the relationship when you do construction for them. It’s sometimes months at a time, depending on the size of the job. Trust me. I have seen for myself the dominant female make all the decisions while the hubby cowers to her overpowering dictatorship. It’s so much more than decision making, it was her persona. I also witnessed those same couples undergo divorce some time later. It is a very unGodly relationship with much strife. I have seen many divorces after the remodel jobs. When my hubby pointed this scenario out to me, I could hardly believe it. However, time and time again, I saw this play out. At first, I thought it was from the stresses of a remodel job, but after a closer look at the homeowners, I could see the dominant wife. Call me crazy but I’ve got more than 25 years of observations.

        God knows best what works. I love how scriptures back up everything you say in this article.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’ll make sure Christina knows you enjoy her perspective. We wrote and researched this together, so her thoughts are intermingled in there. We ran out of time this week, I’m afraid, so we kind of cheated and I pulled part of a sermon we wrote and delivered together and made a blog post out of it. It was that, or not post (which I didn’t want to do).

          We’ll be back to our usual dynamic and writing style next week.

  4. Robyn Gibson says:

    I find that Adam demonstrated his charge and care over Eve by stepping up defining her by her name – so completely and utterly romantically masculine!!

    1. Dan says:

      What a push-over. 😉

  5. Kevin says:

    When you really examine the text of Ephesians 5, it is not confusing and it really helps to understand what Paul is saying to the church at Ephesus. 5:18-21 is one sentence in Greek. The main command is in verse 18: “be filled with the Spirit.” The rest of the sentence (vv. 19-21) describes what being filled with the Spirit will look like in the church: speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, give thanks always, and submit to one another in the church. That is generally what church life is supposed to be like (cf. Rom 12:9ff; Eph 4:29ff). Paul then turns his attention from the church family in general to the Christian household in particular. So what does it mean for a wife to be filled with the Spirit? Submitting to her husband as unto The Lord. What does it mean for a husband to be filled with the Spirit? To love his wife in the same manner as Jesus loved the church, sacrificing himself for the good of his bride. It is interesting that v. 22 is a verbless sentence (literally it reads “Wives to her own husband as to the Lord”). This means that the English translations have to “pick up” the verb from the previous sentence but it makes the connection between v. 21 and v. 22 very strong.

    I think that viewing submission and headship as the outworking of being filled with the Spirit helps to alleviate any concern about potential abuses. A woman who is filled with the Spirit will graciously and joyfully submit herself to Christ and she will look upon her husband as Christ’s gift to her and joyfully and graciously submit to him as well. A husband who is filled with the Spirit will seek to serve his Lord and what better way to do that then to love the women God graciously gave him.

    I see the same thing happening in Genesis 2. God created the man and put him in the garden “to work it and keep it” (v. 15). Then God gave man the woman for him to protect and to love as part of that mandate. This was designed to be a good gift for the woman because she was a “helper fit for him” (v. 18). When sin entered creation, it marred God’s good design and this included our human relationships (Gen 3:16). But in Christ, our relationships are being renewed by the Holy Spirit into God’s good design again. That is why I think egalitarianism is ultimately a denial of the gospel (as well as undermining the inerrancy of Scripture).

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Wow, thanks Kevin. I always believed that was the dynamic, but it was a hunch, I lack the Greek skills to do a study that deep. Thanks for teaching me!

  6. Caroll says:

    Great article. Gave me a lot to think abouti also appreciate everyone’s responses. Gleaning much from my brothers and disters! Thnx

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Caroll!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting article and it has definitely sparked my interest with a current situation w my husband & myself. I’ve been wondering/praying about submission & love — meaning, where is the line between doing things out of love/submission, or going too far?

    The short of my situation: my husband was raised catholic and I was raised in a Methodist church. When getting engaged his mom pushed us to try the Catholic Church, but it wasn’t important to him since he hasn’t been there in 15 yrs. Weve been married 8 yrs, and gone to a nondenominational church. Over the past few yrs my husband has been saying more and more things about he loves the Catholic Church, and all these negative things about our church. We’ve talked a bit about him going on his own, (he was raised going w his mom, while his dad and siblings went to a Lutheran church), and he’s thinking about going once or twice a month w/o us.
    My issue… Do I convert to a faith where I don’t believe in a lot of their fundamentals to please my husband (I did tell him when we were dating I wasn’t interested in converting and he had said that wasn’t important to him).
    I do believe his mother is influencing him a bit…. He’s very concerned about pleasing her, but I do believe he would be happier at the church he was raised in. It can be very frustrating bc I look things up in the Bible for guidance, but my husband has said he doesn’t believe the Bible is inspired, and that tradition is more important.
    This is longer than I thought! But i’d love to hear your opinion(s).

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That is a difficult one.
      My first thought is that there is a hierarchy, above that which exists within the household, that takes precedence. Your submission to God is above your submission to your husband. I would never tell someone they should attend a church where they don’t believe the fundamental doctrines, and I understand where you are coming from: I, myself, could not attend a Catholic church, my beliefs are too far in opposition to their doctrines, though I have visited just to see what it was like.

      But, there is also the issue that spouses of different faiths (and I would consider Catholicism a different faith than protestant Christianity) will invariably have problems. This extends beyond what church you attend. It goes down to the core of who you are, and what you belief. As you said, he doesn’t believe the Bible is inspired. That’s a fairly large core belief that you are in opposition on.

      I’m afraid I have no experience in this specific field, but I’d highly suggest speaking to someone who does, perhaps a pastor your know.

      In short, don’t follow your husband away from God, or violate His laws. In all else, submit.

      1. Anonymous says:

        I talked with him a bit more about the Bible being inspired, and he does believe it is inspired, but that you should go to the church for answers before going to the Bible. Basically, he has grown to have really hard time with the Protestant faith…. He in no way believes in sola scriptura (my spelling may be off). He believes in the Catholic way of communion (the more you take it the more Christ-like you can become), and in going to the Church for answers you may need. The Bible is inspired, but more of a history book than an end-all.
        Yes, I agree this is going to cause problems in lots of areas… We didn’t have an issue the first 5 years but now it’s getting to the point we may split up on Sundays. That was one thing he didn’t want when we were getting married– he was clear that he didn’t like how his family split on Sundays…. But now here we are.
        I think it’s also difficult to hear our marriage is ‘invalid’ to the Catholic Church and technically he is living in sin being married to me. (I did some homework on this). He can’t take communion there unless we agree to raise our kids catholic.

        Prayer. That seems all I can do with this. Thank you so much for your insight.

  8. Brazilian Dude says:

    As far as Daniel’s friends’ names are concerned, all I remember is “My shack”, “Your shack” and “Bungalow” – or “Make the bed”, “Shake the bed” and “Into the bed you go”!!!!

  9. EssentiallyJess says:

    Loved this article and all the comments as well.
    Submisssion is never something I’ve found really hard to be honest. It’s always made a lot of sense to me, but I loved reading about how it was the man that was accountable in Genesis. Never saw it like that.
    Must suck to be a bloke sometimes 🙂

  10. Elisabeth says:

    OK, first of all, I have rarely read a discussion of this topic that made me laugh so much! First of all, I totally agree with you about Peter and Paul not being big on moderating their speech! Secondly, I was reading this out loud to my husband and started waving my hands in the air with the quotation marks with all of the “the man” “the woman” “the serpent” etc… and emphasizing them (and really cracked up with your comment after the first “the fruit”!!)

    Secondly, I love your take on the whole “why did Eve tell the serpent something different than what God told Adam?” thing… EVERY other discussion of this has said that Eve made all that up on her own and it was the first step towards her sinning. The discussion here makes SO much more sense! I can totally see my husband (and even more so, my dad) doing something just like that… “Well, if I just tell her not to eat it, she may still do so, if I tell her not to touch it then she’ll be far enough away not to even think about eating it….” makes total sense.

    Great discussion! Can’t wait to read more!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      We’re glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Paul H. Byerly says:

    One important interpretation truth often thrown under the bus in this discussion is “The general never invalidated or modifies the specific.”

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