Title

OH HAPPY FAULT: THE GOD-LIKE CURIOSITY OF THE FIRST WOMAN IN GENESIS

Faculty Sponsor

David Western

College

Christ College

Department/Program

Theology/Biblical Studies

ORCID Identifier(s)

N/A

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019

Abstract

The sin of the woman in Genesis chapter 3 has been used throughout history as a means of condemning women. It has been used to support arguments that women are easily tempted to sin or that they themselves are temptresses. But in Genesis, how much responsibility lies upon the woman to not fall prey to this temptation? For if the serpent that tempted the woman is Satan, as tradition suggests, then this is not the only time in the Old Testament that Satan’s tactics succeed. Utilizing a literary approach to the Bible, I demonstrate a similarity between Eve’s temptation and an encounter between God and Satan in the book of Job. In Genesis, the serpent offers the woman access to knowledge by means of the fruit. In Job, Satan offers God access to the knowledge of whether Job is truly His faithful servant. Both the woman and God give in to their curiosity. And yet, the woman is chastised by God and by tradition as a sinner. But, if the woman was acting as God would, then this condemnation seems misguided. In fact, if God is supposed to be all-knowing, His culpability seems greater than that of the woman’s. By looking at these two narratives and reexamining the woman’s actions, we see that by acting in a manner similar to God, she affirms the image of God in which she was created. And because of this, rather than castigating the woman for her actions, we should celebrate her.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Dan Herschel is a senior Data Science major at Valparaiso University. This abstract and presentation was adapted from a paper he wrote in Professor Ashleigh Elser's Literary Approaches to the Bible class, Spring 2018. He was especially focused in this class on drawing out relationships between different stories present in the Bible. After graduation, he will be participating in the CAPS Fellowship program through Valpo's Institute for Leadership and Service.

For Artistic Presentations

N/A

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