Eve was deceived, Adam was not

by Matt Slick

This has already been addressed in the paper Genesis 3, The Fall, and Adam and Eve's sin. But let's take a more narrow look at the issue here.  The argument from the egalitarians is that Eve was deceived, and Adam was not.  Therefore, sin entered the world through him because her sin was not as bad as Adams.

First of all, even if it were true that her sin was not as bad as Adams, by what logic is it necessary that sin must enter the world through Adam and not Eve?  At best, it's a theory--an opinion.  Is there any place in Scripture that verifies this assertion?  I know of none.

Second, being deceived doesn't excuse a person.  We know that Eve was deceived. 2 Cor. 11:3 says, "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." Also, 1 Tim. 2:14 says, "And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression." But, as I said in the article Genesis 3, The Fall, and Adam and Eve's sin, I searched through the Bible examining all 179 occurrences of deceive, deceived, deceit, deception, etc., and I found none that support the idea that being deceived is less an offense to God or somehow excuses a person from the consequence of that deception.  If anything, I found evidence to the contrary.

  1. Deut. 11:16, "Beware, lest your hearts be deceived and you turn away and serve other gods and worship them."
    1. Though people are deceived and worship false gods, there will be no excuse for them on the Day of Judgment.
  2. Rom. 7:9-11, "And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me."
    1. Paul's account of sin is personified but notice that though he said he was deceived by sin, it still killed him.  Being deceived still kills.
  3. 2 Cor. 11:3-4, "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully."
    1. Nowhere in these verses or the context surrounding them does believing in a false Christ and/or false gospel excuse the person from the consequences of that deception nor is that consequence said to be lessened.
  4. Eph. 5:6, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience."
    1. We see that the wrath of God still comes upon those who are deceived.

We see that even when people are deceived, the full consequences of that deception are dished out to those thus deceived.  Therefore, are we to conclude that Eve was somehow excused from her sin, or that its severity was lessened because she was deceived?  If so, where is the evidence for it?  Even if that were true that the sin was less, where is the biblical verification that that was why sin did not enter the world through Eve?

There is one more set of verses worth examining before we leave this topic.  When Jacob deceived his father Isaac and received the blessing that belonged to Esau, the blessing was not rescinded when the deception was discovered. "When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35 And he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and has taken away your blessing." (Gen. 27:34-35).  The point is that the effects wrought through deception are powerful and not lessened in consequence upon the one deceived even though it is from deception.


Saying that Adam had a greater offense and that is why sin entered the world is nothing more than guesswork.  It is an opinion not substantiated by Scripture and not required by logic.  Therefore, the argument has no weight.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.